How is Albany, NY using technology to solve illegal dumping?

A recent piece in The Chronicle focuses on a major issue facing Albany, NY residents: illegal dumping.

In particular, residents have expressed concerns about poor garbage and recycling pickup practices. Garbage and recycling bins are often strewn across sidewalks and placed in inconvenient positions by garbage men. As Ian Morse, resident of the Pine Hills neighborhood said: "We need to come up with more effective ways to take care of the city's trash problem because it's important we address the issue and then do something about it."

The first step Albany is taking to solve this problem: listening. Using Albany's SeeClickFix mobile app, residents have been able to report these kinds of issues and more directly to the City of Albany.

By collecting these issues on a centralized platform, Albany can have a more comprehensive view of the problem, as well as have a means of communicating back to citizens. As Eva Petkanas, Community Relations Coordinator at the Albany Department of General Services said: "We really focus on communication. We can't be everywhere, but SeeClickFix makes it easier for our department to address compliance issues." For example, when issues are in the SeeClickFix system they are immediately and automatically forwarded directly to the department in charge of handling the issue addressed.

Petkanas is excited to continue to learn from the issues residents are reporting: "We emphasize doing our best to be as accessible as possible. We can't be everywhere at once, so we need residents to contact us about any issues they have."