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From the Metaverse to a pig-shaped truck, hackathon sparks ideas to control litter

A hackathon this week generated dozens of ideas for how Cincinnati can better control litter. Close to 20 teams spent a few days working on projects, culminating in Friday's pitch session.

The winning team, Pig 311, pitched a special kind of garbage truck to get people talking – one shaped like a giant pink pig. Mark Gillespie is a building inspector with the city; he says Cincinnati needs a litter mascot.

"So every time you're gonna pass this garbage truck, you're gonna talk about it," Gillespie said. "You're gonna say like, Hey, that's Do you remember the pink pig? And it builds on a brand that's already well established."

Second place went to a team of girls ages 10 to 17 for their idea to use technology, including NFT's and the metaverse, to tackle the problem. Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Klocek pitched the idea.

"One of the technologies is the extruder, which can turn little bits of plastics into any shape you want, and implement those shapes into chandeliers and art pieces for bars and restaurants all over Cincinnati," Klocek said.

Council Member Liz Keating hosted the hackathon. She says dozens of good ideas didn't win a prize, but could still become part of the city's trash response.

The city manager's office will look at all the pitches and determine which ones are feasible.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.