Let’s talk trash. More specifically, let’s talk about #trashtag, a hashtag and challenge that’s been blowing up on social media over the last couple of months. The concept behind #trashtag is simple – find an area filled with trash, take a “before” picture, clean up the trash and then take an “after” picture.

Following the lead of thousands of teens, adults, families, groups, schools and companies that have already picked up thousands of bags of trash across the world, Zignal Labs decided to come together to do some good in our local communities and for the planet – all while putting our key pillar of Collaborative Excellence into action.

Armed with gloves, trash pickers, hefty trash bags and the spirit of Earth Month, we got to work picking up trash in the local areas around our New York City and San Francisco offices.

#trashtag in the City

In New York City, we picked up trash in the heavily-trafficked Times Square area.

Zignal Labs employees working together to clean up trash around our New York City office.

We were amazed to see the variety of trash that could be found in such a small area, picking up everything from flattened cardboard boxes and plastic food packaging to hundreds of cigarette butts and other tobacco product packaging.

Before and after shots from our New York City crew.

After a couple of hours of hard work, we were able to pick up five big bags of detritus from city and tourist life, making Times Square – and our commute to work! – much cleaner.

#trashtag at the Beach

In San Francisco, we headed to Ocean Beach, the long stretch of coastline created by the city’s western edge meeting the Pacific Ocean. Happily, the beach was pretty clean (shoutout to the San Francisco Recreation & Parks department), but we did manage to fill up a couple of bags with trash found on and near the beach, including plastic straws (whichever otherwise would have made it into our oceans), lots of burned paper (from the popular bonfires pits located on the beach) and even an entire area rug.

Zignal Labs employees clean up trash at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Eager to keep going, we crossed the street and headed into Golden Gate Park (the city’s largest park), where we were able to clean up a significant amount of trash around public soccer fields, a restaurant and a walking trail, including an old soccer ball which was soon adopted/recycled by a passing group of school children.

A group of happy campers enjoying a spick-and-span walking trail in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

Invigorated and inspired by our participation in the #trashtag challenge, we’re excited and committed to completing ongoing trash cleanups around our offices and local communities in the years to come.

Interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Zignal Labs? Visit our #ZignalLife page to learn more about our people, culture and open opportunities.