Utter Rubbish addresses flytipping issues by combatting the costs for communities, clearing green spaces and improving access for the public. There is also an underlying burden on local authorities with stretched budgets and rising financial costs with requirements removal costs to reduce fly-tipping. We provide missing data to be collected to find hot spots for fly-tipping to tackle repeat offenders beyond current legal requirements, increasing the efficiency of reporting to reduce the time for cleaning up fly-tipping sites. By creating a greater engagement with recycling we help avoid the decline in sustainable projects through earnings from recycling materials being sold back into the market. We also support the reduction of contamination rates.
We are distinctive through our use of a hybrid app and AI to make local authority waste collection service information accessible to a higher proportion of residents. We benefit residents by providing useful information in a user-friendly format and enabling residents to tackle environmental nuisance from fly-tipping with a low carbon intuitive reporting mechanism. The app is distinctive for local authorities as it offers multiple benefits – improving communication and therefore relationships with residents; potential to promote waste campaigns through the app increasing reach and engagement; ability to engage users with recycling to develop recycling literacy; and potential to access data to target fly-tipping and reduce associated costs and negative impacts for residents. We also involved others through our social outreach program with internships, demonstrating the potential for student enterprise projects to develop employability skills and contribute to University outreach and widening participation agendas.