Trashswag is a website from Toronto that maps salvageable material.

Instead of stuff going into the trash, the site will help it find new owners, reducing the amount of waste left on street corners, or fed into landfills.

Developer Gavin Cameron created it so his friends could swap tips about restorable furniture, panel doors, stair sections, windows and balconies, and so on, that they might see about town.

Users simply put in the position of the discarded material, take a photo, add a little information, and then watch the item appear on the crowd-sourced page.

Trashswag is still used mostly by Cameron’s friends, who repair the orphaned items, or turn them into something useful, or artistic.

But he hopes to add further users, though, and expand it beyond Toronto.

2013-03-14

Co.Exist

A Site To Map All The Useful Garbage People Throw Out

Trashswag lets you document that great old chest of drawers that someone was crazy enough to leave on the street so that anyone who is interested has a chance to see what’s available on garbage day and get it before it goes to a landfill.

We’ve covered a few waste management fixes--including this nifty bag from the Netherlands, and this popular app from Slovakia. Trashswag hails from Toronto, and has the potential to be equally useful. A website, it maps salvageable material, in hopes of finding new owners, and reducing the amount of waste left on street corners, or fed into landfills.

Gavin Cameron says he developed it so his friends could swap tips about restorable furniture, panel doors, stair sections, windows and balconies, and so on, that they might see about town. "Once you start noticing, you realize that there is so much left out," he says. Previously, they were sending each other pictures, addresses, and lots of text messages, and Cameron says he just got sick of the volume. "I thought there must be some means of mapping of this type of stuff."

To go with the site, there are iPhone and Android apps based on the Ushahidi mapping platform. Users simply put in the position of the discarded material, take a photo, add a little information, and then watch the item appear on the crowd-sourced page.

Trashswag is still used mostly by Cameron’s friends, who repair the orphaned items, or turn them into something useful, or artistic. He hopes to add further users, though, and expand it beyond Toronto. "It’s to encourage and promote re-use. If you look at the landfill numbers, they’re really high, and a lot of that comes from construction. Hopefully, this raises awareness."

[Image: Flickr user FaceMePLS]

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3 Comments

  • BKPhil

    Great idea. Love to see this in NYC.
    Although, oddly enough, it's actually against the law to use a vehicle to pick up something from someone's trash in NYC.