New challenge enforces cleaning up on campus

By Amethyst Martinez

Rider’s Office of Sustainability is giving a challenging task to the student body: collect 100,000 pieces of litter.

The office is encouraging students to use Litterati, an app that performs data collection, to track how much and what kind of trash students are logging and picking up around the university.

Eco Rep Bailey Adams, a junior environmental science major, said that the office has been trying to get students to use the app for around a month now.

“[The] hope is to make [Rider] cleaner, but also help with data collection since that is something legality wise with legislature and new laws,” said Adams. “While you’re out collecting trash, you’re marking down what you pick up so that at the end of it, they can analyze the data.”

Using it is easy: just download the app Litterati, put in the code BRONCS when setting your challenge and log litter seen on campus by taking a photo, tagging the litter, posting it to the app, then discarding the trash in the correct manner.

Freshman acting major Skyler O’Kelley has been leading the scoreboard on the app, with almost 100 pieces of litter picked up around Rider’s campus.

“Even before I knew that the app was a thing, I’ve been picking up trash on campus just out of habit,” said O’Kelley. “When I heard that they were doing Litterati, and what it was, I was like, ‘Oh this is such a great way for me to log what I’m doing because the app is meant to collect data on the type of litter.’”

According to Litterati’s website, the company provides the world’s litter data, while “empowering people to create a cleaner planet by turning information into actionable insight.”

O’Kelley said, “This just felt really awesome, and it felt like a great way to encourage other people to do it, because some people are like, ‘I don’t see the point of just picking up trash’ and I’m like, well, now you can help collect data about the trash.”

The pickup location is set on Rider’s campus and a mile radius around it.

“I feel like people haven’t really been using it because it’s hard to get the word out, so we’re trying to. We’re getting posters made so it’ll be something that kind of ramps up in the spring when people are outside, because right now, it’s getting colder,” said Adams. “I do think that our facilities management, they are really good about picking things up in general, so this would be just kind of an after thing where if you see something, pick it up.”

The challenge ends in June, and the hope is for all students to participate.

“We want to be living and learning in an environment that is clean and healthy, and looks amazing, which is just great for our mental health in general, but also, it’s a lot easier for trash outside to get into waterways and back to the ocean,” said O’Kelley. “I think it’s really important that we do that so that we have a clean campus that we’re proud of, but also so that we’re helping the Earth and preventing trash and things getting into the waterways and then polluting the earth any further.”

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