Five Reasons Techies Should Celebrate #WorldCleanupDay

Five Reasons Techies Should Celebrate #WorldCleanupDay

World Cleanup Day is coming up on September 15. On that day, our goal is to have 5% of the world population get involved in fighting waste–in all of its manifestations.

For more than a year, CleanApp Foundation has been very vocal about the urgency of the global waste/pollution problem and the need for a global collaborative effort to tackle it. CleanApp isn’t just “raising awareness” — we’re showing how and why the tech community needs to step into the resource management business — or bust.

Here are five reasons why everyone in tech should celebrate #WorldCleanupDay.

Reason #1: WCD = World’s Largest Untapped Data Market 

Today, it’s common to talk about data as the new currency. In today’s world, everyone knows that data is power.  Control over data flows, data privacy, data security is one of the great social, legal, and economic battles of our time.

And yet for all the talk about the centrality of data to the 21st global economy, there is no known effort to map global resource flows.  We have the technology to understand precisely where our resources come from, how they are used, and where they end up.

#WorldCleanupDay is a massive civil action where volunteers aren’t just picking up litter; WCD volunteers are showing how tech can be leveraged to generate massive new torrents of streaming data with locations of valuable resources.

Waste data is extremely valuable because it represents data about the location of valuable resources, including recyclable metals, plastics, and so on. The value of these brand new markets is in the trillions of dollars.

Reason #2: Tech Must Solve The Global Waste Problem, Or Bust

The tech community realizes that the waste/pollution problem is a major threat not only to continued prosperity, but is a threat to basic functioning of modern civilization. Now it’s time to do something about it.

agriculture asia cat china

If we don’t solve the global waste/pollution problem, there will be no other problems to solve.  It’s really that simple.  Need proof?  Here’s a clip from Idiocracy.

Reason #3: WCD Is Culmination of BigTech’s March Towards IoT & Material Integration

For the past decade, BigTech has been moving from information markets & data markets towards tangible material markets. The signs are everywhere: (1) Google & Amazon’s steady but clear march towards hardware; (2) Apple’s hardware plays in automotive, home, and smart city sectors; (3) crypto’s slow but disruptive encroachment into IoT & material processes.

The tech world is blurring the line between hardware and software, between public and private spaces.

We see this in the SmartHome/SmartCity revolution, in the battle for primacy in AR, and in existing and looming “protocol wars” over “smartification.”


As we outlined earlier this year, the firm that gives users the most secure and useful way of interfacing with the world will gain nearly insurmountable market dominance.

How we deal with resources in our lived environments (including our homes, workplaces, campuses, and so on) represents far more valuable and sustainable markets than just advertising on a social media wall.

Users may not want to have “analytics” on how many times a Roomba has gone corner to corner in one’s room.  But they do want the ability to say: “Siri, CleanApp the bedroom floor.” and “Alexa, CleanApp the kitchen, please!”

Smart tech leaders realize that at this crucial juncture, it’s all about giving users platform convenience and security–with real world material integration.

World Cleanup Day is Exhibit A for a tech-enabled, materially-integrated future.

World Cleanup Day involves hundreds of millions of global participants who are are showing precisely how they want CivicTech/IoT/CleanTech standards to develop.  That number will rise to billions over the coming years.

The tech firms that internalize the CivicTech standards & expectations of the world’s most active citizens will have those citizens’ trust for years to come.

Everyone in tech knows that eyeballs and attention spans can be bought; trust, however, is priceless.

Reason #4: WCD is an Ideal Sandbox For New Hyperutility Apps

adventure backlit dawn dusk

Everyone in tech knows that success boils down to offering users new utility–new solutions to existing problems that make our lives more productive and more rewarding.  The most successful technology teams go beyond new utility: they want to offer the world solutions to problems that we have never been able to solve before.

Global resource under-utilization (aka “waste”) is one of the most difficult problems to solve because it’s traditionally been hard to get a sense of how much waste people discard.  Today, that task is a lot easier.

On September 15th, World Cleanup Day will generate big data sets  that give us the power to understand diffusion and provenance of the world’s litter.

Just think of projects like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wikipedia, Google Search, Amazon. The reason for their runaway success isn’t only some utilitarian conception of social utility. Rather, these projects offer hyperutility to global populations. If you want to learn why material hyperutility is so important, we invite you to read our analysis here.

World Cleanup Day offers several hyperutility propositions.  For example, World Cleanup Day is rethinking global recycling and circular economy practices with a view towards eliminating sizeable inefficiencies.  That’s something every revenue and profit maximizing tech leader should see immediate value in.

Reason #5: WCD Re-Opens Legal/Regulatory Runways

white and gray airplane

The tech community has gotten caught with its hands in the proverbial cookie jar far too many times already. From complicity with global surveillance networks (including providing backdoor access) to inadequate security protections to dysfunctional data sharing & privacy regimes–BigTech has put itself under a large global regulatory lens.

World Cleanup Day offers BigTech a chance at regulatory redemption.

WCD can reopen legal/regulatory runways that the tech community has been enjoying since the 1990s.  Just like with Reason #2, it really is that simple.

Want to learn more about CleanApp Foundation & World Cleanup Day? Please visit us at