Frequently Asked Questions

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What is GarbageScout?

The streets are full of interesting and potentially useful things that have been thrown out.

If you see something good, snap a picture of it with your camera or camera phone, post it to flickr with the tag garbagescout. It will go up on the home page and others can go and get it.

This will save energy, reduce landfill, save people money, and clean up the streets.

Who can use GarbageScout?

Garbagescout is for anyone who is curious or excited to find things in the garbage.

How do I use Garbagescout?

There are two things you can do: find stuff on garbagescout and post stuff to garbagescout.

How do I find stuff on Garbagescout?

The home page lists the most recent posts to Garbagescout. The first line of the listing, to the left of the image, is a description of the item @ a location. Clicking on the picture or the "details" link will take you to a page with a larger picture.

To keep up with the latest using your RSS reader, there are feeds.

How do I post stuff to Garbagescout?

You post it to the photo sharing site flickr, and tag it "garbagescout".

In the photo description, put description @ location.

More detailed answer:

The description text must take the format description description @ specific location

For example: furniture old chairs@123 East Broadway
computer monitors look good @ W 79th St & Broadway
bike wheels and parts @ 345 west 21st.

It's best to specify borough or city, or zip code if you know it:

lumber sheets 3/4 in ply @ 521 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn

Address posting hint: For the Google Map to work, you should write out the street name like "8th" rather than just "8".

Are there RSS feeds?

There is an atom feed for new garbage posts, and an RSS feed for the blog.

Can I post anything to Garbagescout?

Within reason. It should be something you think might have value to someone: an artist, someone furnishing a home, an experimenter looking for electronic parts, a filmmaker looking for props, a repairman, etc.

I've tried posting stuff to garbagescout, but It doesn't show up.

The most common error is that the garbagescout code can't figure out the address. Is the address in the photo description, after an @ sign? More info here.

We are still testing our code. To help us, please contact jim at nachlin dot com, and thank you for helping us make this site better.

Why doesn't my post show up on the map?

The system that decodes the address into a latitude and longitude is picky. It actually uses data from the 2000 US Census, and expects addresses to be formatted in a certain way.

Use the Zip Code. Try writing "west 12th street", rather than "west 12 street". For intersections, use the ampersand (&). In general, the building number works better than an intersection, so try to look for the address of the nearest building and then use that.

If you have any more tips, do contact us.

Is it GarbageScout, Garbagescout, garbagescout?

I haven't decided yet.

What is the motivation behind GarbageScout?

Garbagescout is a conversation, both practical and philosophical, about what we throw away.

Who created this?

GarbageScout was created by Jim Nachlin.

Thanks to Emily Conrad, Jeffrey Galusha, Lucas Gonze, Kevin Prichard, Greg Shakar, Anatole Shaw, Brett Singer, Gina Trapani, and Mark Wilkie.

How do I contact you?

Feel free to contact me directly with technical problems, suggestions, info about broken stuff, or offers of money @ jim at nachlin dot com.

Can I have the source code?

I will license the source code for the current incarnation of garbagescout for $40 for individual or charitable use, or for $200 for commercial use. That does not include any technical support, so you would have to know a bit of perl and PHP, and how to set up a MySQL database and a web server. I will answer reasonable questions about the code. The code you are buying is licensed to you under the terms of the GPL. Contact me @ jim at nachlin dot com for more info.


Creative Commons License
The contents of this web site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

The above Creative Commons license applies to data served from the domain and any subdomain. Google Maps and Flickr have their own separate licenses and terms of use.