Posted by: William Perrin | September 18, 2008

Down in the dumps – litter a classic ultra local problem

Rubbish and tipping is a prime issue for an ultra local site.  It is a  simple information problem – if you know where the litter is and can tell people, especially the council, it will usually get cleared up.  This was a basis for starting my own community site in Kings Cross.
Reporting stuff to the council is often much harder than it should be (count the number of clicks needed here).  Especially in urban areas, a good ultra local site will have details on its front page of the local councils’ service for reporting street or public space problems – phone line, email and weblink for getting broken things on the street fixed or trash cleared up.  In some areas this can be a complex exercise with differing layers of government and multiple phone lines in the council.  Readers often appreciate you re-organising information and setting it out from the customers point of view.
But you can also use and link to the excellent fixmystreet.com website.  Fixmystreet will send details to any council and cuts through the complex layers of government and bureaucracy by giving you one place to report problems.  It can give an RSS feed direct to your website of people reporting things in your area  – as I have in kings cross.  (I declare an interest in having helped set fixmystreet up)

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