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Cleaning Up the Environment & Keeping Corporations Accountable

5 Gyres is a nonprofit organization that aims to reduce plastic pollution through community engagement, data-driven science, and creative solutions.

  • UI/UX
  • Product Design
  • Full-stack Development

The Challenge

Engaging and empowering communities

TrashBlitz is a “trash data collection” platform for taking charge of waste in communities by gathering data in new ways to identify problems and drive local solutions. To equip people across the country to participate, 5 Gyres needed to create an application that would allow users to document different types of trash on their mobile phones.

The app would need to be able to handle a high user load and deliver functionality with minimal delays and kinks, with a sleek, user-friendly interface and elegant UX that encourages and enables participants to use the app quickly and easily. The documentation of different types of trash needed to be detailed but simple, resulting in valuable data collection that could be leveraged to push for actionable change.

5 Gyres needed a tool that would allow them to engage and empower communities of users, and push for real, actionable transformation.

The Solution

Intuitive data collection tools

To help 5 Gyres succeed in their vision of empowering communities to document trash and effect change, Cloud City designed and built a user-friendly application for TrashBlitz that would be used across the nation — including major metropolises like Los Angeles.

The app allows users to easily categorize their findings by trash type (such as cigarette butt, bottle cap, or diaper), and brand (such as Marlboro or Coca Cola). This second category was key, as it allows for data collection that holds specific corporations responsible for their waste management practices.

Users are encouraged to photograph and log their findings, adding an extra layer of accountability to documentation. At the end of their personal “trash blitz,” the app would tell users how many pounds of trash they had collected and how long they had been performing the cleanup.

Not only did the app include key features needed to collect and document data, it was also built with the forethought required to deliver quality and functionality.

The Outcome

Over 170,000 pieces of litter cleaned up and real policy change

TrashBlitz LA, a major initiative of TrashBlitz in Los Angeles, showed great results in the passing of AB 1080 and SB 54 — two measures that would reduce urban waste and plastic pollution. Using their data, participants were able to develop informed recommendations to reduce urban waste and plastic pollution, and ultimately help prevent the flow of plastic from land to sea.

TrashBlitz was a success, made in no small part to the partnership of Cloud City in expert, wholehearted app development. By helping 5 Gyres to develop a user-friendly app that could be used for widespread community engagement, they collected powerful data that could be used to not only make data-informed decisions, but that could be leveraged with corporate America to make powerful changes.

Partner with Cloud City

Internal projects can be far more complicated than anticipated, even for software companies. By bringing Cloud City into the picture, our clients are able to complete critical projects and benefit from our partnership. Cloud City is a human-centered, empathetic software development team, invested in our clients' long-term health.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Cloud City can help you reach your goals and execute your dreams fill out the form to the side, or email us at

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