They come in packs. They wear safety vests and cargo pants. Their tools are rakes, grabbers and heavy-duty garbage bags — the fuller the better. They are the environmental nonprofit City Friends Club, and they need your help in tracking litter in Cyprus.

Anyone can answer the call through their new mobile app “City Friends Club”, which was released in March 2023 in both English and Greek.

The main feature of the app is a crowd-sourced “trash map” that tracks litter in Cyprus. Users take photos of discarded waste, anything from small piles to big dumps, and register the sites on the map. This data helps CFC plan their cleanups.

“Over 800 people have downloaded it so far,” says Anna Gubareva, founder of the City Friends Club. “About 45 new locations are added to the map each month, visible to all users.”

Behind the app’s creation was an effort to mobilise green-minded Cypriots.

“Many people in Cyprus are interested in making the island cleaner,” says Irina Yuzbekova, who handles public relations for CFC. “The app allows their activities to be more structured and centralised.”

On the map, red dots mean “Needs Cleaning”, yellow dots indicate “Queued for Cleaning” and green dots mean “Cleaned”. Most of the dots are concentrated around Limassol, where City Friends Club is based. But reports are also scattered on the rest of the island.

Another feature of the program is a leaderboard. It ranks users by “points” which they earn for uploading litter reports, sending donations to CFC, or cleaning up polluted sites themselves.

These reports will contribute to a database of litter in Cyprus. According to Yuzbekova, this information serves “to forecast pollution levels across the island in the future”.

“The app is designed for anyone who wants to help keep the island clean,” says Yuzbekova. The collective trash map promotes a sense of shared responsibility, in a country where litter has become more of a problem for everyone.

In other words, if you see something, say something. Or better yet — mark it on the City Friends Club app.