First month of Rubbish on Polk Street (20% reduction in avg. litter!)


This is our first Medium post! We are excited to share what the rubbish team has been working on.

Emin and I have been thinking about trash for a while. Mapping, categorizing, picking up, programming (Emin has pulled many long nights!), testing, engineering and being more and more motivated to look at trash differently and make a difference. We are fully committed to a healthier, cleaner neighborhood — and we want to share some highlights from the first month of our Polk Street Pilot, which were…

(Drumroll, please!)

  • Total pieces of litter picked up: 15,843
  • An average improvement of 7% week over week in litter on the ground
  • A 20% total litter reduction when compared to our first week on Polk Street
  • An average decrease in tobacco and cigarettes of 12% week over week, and 33% when compared to our first week on Polk Street
A breakdown by total category can be found below for the first month of the Pilot in pieces:

Bottles and Cans — 274 pieces or 2% of total litter

Food — 194 pieces of 1% of total litter

Glass — 88 pieces or 1% of total litter

Other — 2,099 pieces or 13% of total litter

Paper — 3,900 pieces of 25% of total litter

Tobacco — 9,288 pieces or 59% of total litter

What does this tell us? That we are making progress in our quest! Less litter, cleaner streets, happier neighbors!

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xo Elena and Emin, Chief Rubbishers

An infographic titled "Rubbish Litter Recap"
Click to download this awesome infographic!
Written by
Elena Guberman