Islington council have made exactly that, a free app that allows you to report graffiti, fly-tipping and dog fouling using your location and a photo of the offending article. We took it for a spin to find out if it works.
It was a cold afternoon when I trekked the streets of Islington looking for rubbish, and it wasn’t at all long before I found my first overfilled bin. Dutifully, I took a photo.
Just look at it. Hideous. There’s wood there and everything. The sooner this is gone the better, but God knows I’m not touching it. It’d be better if I just send off a report to the council using their new app.
It felt powerful. The world needs changing, and if hygiene vigilantes armed with nothing but a smartphone can’t change it, no one can. But I needed another fix, I couldn’t help myself. I dived into some back streets to find more refuse.
I wasn’t disappointed, only a short distance from a primary school were more bags filled with God knows what. Just metres from where tiny defenceless kids frolic and play with naive abandon, some heartless, thoughtless creature has dumped their shredded paper.
Twice wasn’t enough. I was riding high on a wave of endorphins and righteous pride. I was singlehandedly cleaning up Islington. Sam Walsh, preventer of plague and maintainer of basic street standards, a name that would go down in history. I spotted an overflowing bin.
Obscene. It’s not only a health risk, but a tripping hazard as well. This could only get worse if evil tippers were maliciously dumping their rubbish on that most majestic of nature’s giants: the tree.
Disgraceful. More proof, if it were needed, that humans are the most destructive and reckless creatures to ever walk the Earth. Especially North Londoners.
I sat back and waited, content in the knowledge that I’d done my bit for society and, quite possibly, the rest of the world as well.
Forty-eight hours later…
VICTORY. I have single handedly taken on the litterers of Islington and won. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was the sole reason for the rubbish being removed.
I don’t even care that I’m a rat now and wild gangs of litter obsessed yobs are likely to be hunting for me even as you read this. I’ve made the world a safer, cleaner, less cluttered place. Or at the very least, I’ve moved some rubbish around Islington, and now fewer people will have to look at it.