Passing by a pile of trash on the street you often spot stuff that is still usable. But most of the times it’s not the right moment to take it, it’s not the item that you need or you don’t have enough space to store it. In that case it would be great to tell others about it and give them the opportunity to pick it up. That’s what becomes possible with Trashswag, a recently launched app that makes collecting trash and recycling social.
The Toronto-based application enables residents locate street-side items that are available to take. When leaving or detecting an item on the street one can report it on Trashswag and help other people nearby to find it. Reporters add a picture of the item, a small description and a title. In addition they choose a category like furniture, wood/lumber/timber, building materials, architectural salvage or garage/yard sale. The location and time are automatically added to every item and it will be shared on a map. This allows other people to roam the city for great stuff while they sit on their sofa. As soon as something of particular interest is found, one has to race to the spot and try to be the first to pick it up. After that one can rate the credibility of the reporter via the app.
In Toronto 85 items have already been listed, resulting in an interesting catalogue of free stuff to pick up somewhere in the city, varying from cabinets to old doors, piles of bricks and gutter pieces. The site is like a very temporary eBay version, but then with only free items. When it works well, Trashswag can turn into a pretty relevant platform. In general because recycling and re-using stuff are a good way to decrease our collective waste. But also on a personal level it can be very helpful to collect good stuff for very little money.
Some weeks ago we featured the Goedzak, a comparable initiative from the Amsterdam-based product designers of the Waarmakers. Their transparent bag for collecting stuff that can still be used by others is also a way to re-organize waste distribution in the city. Trashswag is the digital component of the same kind of ambition.