Less trash around garbage containers in Amsterdam

With more people working from home and a shortage of employees collecting garbage, it is becoming more and more common to see piles of waste near garbage containers in the streets of Amsterdam. The result: bad smells, an ugly sight of waste mountains and all sorts of animals feasting on garbage.

Luckily the local government is pretty responsive if you let them know if this is happening. They send a truck that empties the bin and they clean the trash that surrounds the location. Unfortunately contacting the government is done using a time consuming general contact form which asks various questions, involves multiple steps and ends with a "your notice will be picked up within 3 working days". Not very user friendly.

Luckily that contact form POSTs data to a single endpoint. A pretty format that includes the garbage container latitude and longitude, the type of issue as a status code (container full, waste next to container, broken container), etc.

By searching the Amsterdam open data project I found a .csv file listing every single container in Amsterdam (over 22.000!) and wrote a small web app that matches the current location with the nearest garbage bin which then lets you notify the government whether the container is full, broken, or whether there is waste placed next to it... with a single tap.

Neighbours can access this as well with the QR code on the container. When scanned with their phone it shows nearby containers that just have been emptied or don't have a recent issue logged. That way they know where to walk to, to prevent trash piling up while we wait for the garbage truck to arrive to empty the full container.

Having issue with your nearby containers as well? Try the Amsterdam notification container app.

container with qr code
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