New app aims to clean streets by letting users report litter, pay for pickup

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Clean streets are a goal that has eluded Philadelphia for decades. But now, as the old ad campaign used to say, "there's an app for that."

That app had an unusual debut — it was unveiled at a protest in Center City last week.

Morgan Berman stood on the steps of the Municipal Services Building surrounded by bags of trash, bemoaning the approach the Streets Department takes to the city's litter problem.

"When you ask them, 'What’s the goal of this department? How do you measure success?' they say, 'Bags of trash picked up,'" she said.

"I don't care how many bags you pick up. I don't want any bags picked up. I want clean streets, but they're not even thinking of the goal that way."

Berman was there not just to complain but to offer a solution. Working with Terrill Haigler, a former sanitation worker who goes by the moniker "Ya Fav Trashman," she developed the app "Glitter." Haigler said it allows residents to report litter but also pay people to clean it up.

"We have corporate sponsors that are going to sponsor the Glitter app to be able to pay residents inside the neighborhood already to keep the blocks clean," he said, "so that kids can play on that block, ride their bikes and there will be a visual difference in that neighborhood."

Glitter is currently conducting a beta version pilot in Dickinson Square, but they hope to go citywide by September.