Digital platform helps Irish group clean three tonnes of litter from the coast

21 Apr 2022

From left: North Coast World Earth chair Gavin Wallace, community group member Emma McNaughton, art and fundraising member Michelle McGarvey, secretary Kiara Doherty and education member Deirdre Doherty. Image: North Coast World Earth

The North Coast World Earth group is using Esri Ireland’s platform to record data on litter hotspots on the Northern Irish coast and raise environmental awareness.

Geographic information system (GIS) player Esri Ireland has helped an environmental action group collect nearly three tonnes of litter from the Northern Irish coast.

North Coast World Earth has been using Esri’s digital mapping platform, ArcGIS, to record information about the litter it has collected and improve its ability to clean up coastal regions.

The volunteer group has been able to record litter hotspots, share locations where bins are full or unusable, record instances of fly tipping and investigate the impact of litter pollution in protected areas.

The digital platform also allows the group to engage with local communities, as groups can access personalised dashboards to see their contribution to the litter collection and celebrate their achievements. North Coast World Earth hopes that this could help with environmental education, by clearly showing involved pupils how they can reduce pollution.

“The beauty of our ArcGIS maps and dashboards is that it provides evidence of the types, volumes and locations of the litter collected by our members,” North Coast World Earth chair Gavin Wallace said.

“There are no limits to the amount of data that members can put into ArcGIS; it’s just phenomenal. In the months and years ahead, the ArcGIS platform will provide key data that will help raise further awareness about the issues that face our environment,” Wallace added.

The volume and locations of litter collected are visible on an interactive digital map on the group’s website. It said that this digital approach has helped improve data accuracy and reduce the administrative burden for its committee.

The organisation no longer needs to collect data from multiple sources such as emails and social media, which is more sustainable and efficient as the group grows.

North Coast World Earth is also able to use the collected data to campaign with councils and help lobby for new actions to prevent littering.

“North Coast World Earth is doing invaluable work in the Causeway Coast and Glens area of Northern Ireland,” Esri Ireland customer success manager Jamie Wallace said. “Esri Ireland is proud to support this work and provide a sustainable platform which will enable the group to continue to grow and tackle the important issue of litter pollution.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic