SMS text messaging allows citizens to keep their streets clean

Preserving the cleanliness of a community is of the utmost importance. As citizens walk the streets of their towns and cities, they need to know that their elected officials are doing all they can to maintain sanitary conditions. In one UK town, citizens can now do their part by reporting any public hazards found via SMS text messaging.

As previously reported in this blog, texting has expanded from a communication device between friends and family to a valuable tool used for marketing and emergency services. This latest SMS usage takes things one step further by allowing mobile phone users to be proactive by using their technology to inform officials about any potential threats to the cleanliness of their neighborhood.

The Town of Erewash has implemented a service for users to text town officials whenever they see unscoped dog waste on their sidewalk. Such occurrences have become a growing problem, according to the online publication "This Is Derbyshire," and residents asked for a way to take action against it.

"Residents asked us to provide a text service and we agreed it was a good idea," said Barbara Harrison, a city environmental representative. "There is an over-riding message that this has to be made to irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets – bag it and bin it. Dog mess is an eyesore and a health hazard. If you are a dog owner, you have a legal duty to clean up every time your dog messes in a public place."

In the United States, various cities have begun implementing services that allow citizens to take control of their community with mobile phone technology. These services range from paying public utility bills to uploading pictures of public damage to a government application, but the most popular functions appear to be related to the SMS application. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools city and town offices need to organize successful text messaging services.