Purpose

The purpose of this article is to help propose a workflow for partner organizations who want to document the litter composition of a mass clean-up or large on-site cleanup, but do not have the ability, desire, or bandwidth to train every single volunteer for the event.

Background

The goal of Litterati is to allow users to document the litter around their community and to build a database to better understand the litter composition that they encounter.

The typical goal of mass clean-ups is to organize a group of people to make an immediate impact on their neighborhood in a short amount of time. The focus is usually on collecting everything and then reviewing the bags, weight, and participants involved.

Essentially, Litterati's goal is aimed at litter prevention, and mass clean-ups are aimed toward litter collection and beautification.

So when looking at a volunteer group, by splitting them into two roles: Litter-Picker and Litter-Documenter, both groups can accomplish both of those goals.

Roles Defined

Litter-Documenter

This is a new role that you'll need to assign. These people will show up before the event starts and work with group organizers to map out and document all the litter that will be picked up during the event. Depending on the size of your cleanup area, you only will need 1-5 people to do this. These people will not collect litter, but instead will be in charge of uploading and tagging their litter in the Litterati App.

Litter-Pickers

These people are the classic participant in a clean-up. They show up, are given bags and tools and they grab everything they can see and reach.

Process:

A. Prior to Challenge:

  1. Setup the challenge in your partner dashboard

    1. Click here for more instructions on that.

  2. Survey the Area

    1. Organizers will need to survey the clean-up site and determine how many documenters they’ll need.

    2. They’ll need to divide the cleanup area so documenters have their own area

    3. Ideally, each section should have around 500 pieces of litter.

B. Day of Challenge

  1. Litter-Documenting Prior To Clean-up

    1. They should have enough time to collect photos before picking starts. For densely littered areas, this might mean a couple of hours prior to the start of Litter-Picking.

    2. If this means early morning documentation, we recommend using your camera’s flash to increase the brightness of the photos.

  2. Avoid Duplicate Photos

    1. If multiple Litter-Documenters are at a site, they need to communicate at the borders of each section they’re taking photos in to avoid duplicate items being photographed.

  3. Tagging

    1. Once they’ve collected the photos, they’re done with their work on-site.

    2. Once they’re back at home and have uploaded the photos to their gallery, they’re be tasked to go through and tag the items with Object, Material, and Brand.

    3. If using a computer is easier, and their computer is able to do so, they can follow this method: Desktop Access For Tagging.

  4. After that, their contribution is complete

By splitting the work between your volunteers, you can ensure that you have sufficient litter documentation to go with your litter cleanup efforts. Thus being able to not just clean up your target location, but also understand the litter composition of how things got there and what types of litter you're finding.

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