This NYC BigApps Finalist Pays You to Clean The City



Emrals is a cryptocurrency based game that empowers citizens to clean their city and you can literally clean up in bitcoin, And you know what they say: every litter Bitcoin helps! Founder Sean Auriti tells us how he’s gaming garbage.

Tell us about the service.

Emrals is a cash reward-based web and mobile system which empowers citizens to clean their cities in exchange for Bitcoins. It also includes an integrated hardware component, an interactive trash can called the eCan which connects with the Emrals system making it easier to reward trash cleanup. Starting with the public areas of sidewalks and parks, Emrals offers a platform for people to report rogue trash, put some cash on it and incentivize people to clean it up for a reward. Along with cleaning up, Emrals seeks to educate people about the overwhelming trash issues and help reduce the negative impact of our waste.  Clean sidewalks not only look nice – they are safer, make us feel better as a community, and keep litter out of our rivers and oceans. Our government systems are doing the best they can, but it’s not enough.

How is it different?

Emrals is the first to create a system of rewards that are by the people and for the people to help make our city cleaner through the use of mobile and web apps and integrated connected devices.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

The solid waste market is $1 billion in NYC alone ($55 billion in the US).  We are picking up where it leaves off. (Pun intended!)

What inspired you to make this app?


Sean Auriti

We have always been interested in greentech and in the Code Across NYC hackathon: we were challenged to create an app for civic good. We love New York City and want to help it be clean, safe and beautiful for everyone in every neighborhood.  You don’t have to look far to see the problem we have with rogue trash.  From overflowing bins, to clogged catch basins, dog poop and cabbie urine, emrals is here to motivate citizens to clean it up and put it where it belongs.

What is the business model? 

Players post bounties on spots that need to be cleaned up. Emrals receives a minimum of 10% on every transaction. Subscription plans range from $9 – $99/month for “impact zones.” A commercial indoor eCan is $365 and a commercial outdoor one is $795.  In the works: a residential indoor version that will sell for $99.

Tell us about your experience with NYC BigApps thus far.

We have grown our team and have been introduced to a range of people sharing in our interests who have been helping us shape our product and offering advice. Having the dedicated “BigBuild” days to focus on development and the competitive spirit of wanting to advance has helped push us forward. We are all driven by the thought of rewards, right?  And that’s why we want to reward city cleanup.

In which category is your app and why is your app the best in that category?

Play because we want cleaning up to be a fun game – we gamified the process.  We don’t want this to be just for the do-gooders.  Everyone can play.  

Why is New York the place to launch your particular app?

We have a lot of trash that needs to be cleaned up!

What would winning NYC BigApps mean for your company?

We would be able to keep up the momentum we have been gaining and continue to develop our product by implementing all the great ideas that have been rolling in from our participation in Big Apps. We will hire developers and community outreach staff and fully market our product with the proper resources. Our impact would be accelerated.

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

The one who would give us the money to start our seed funding and support us with relevant connections in our sphere and share in our passion for growing Emrals to a billion dollar business where everyone wins.

Yankees or Mets?

At a Little League game this summer, the head of the league was watching a game and commented, “That was a good hit.  And that was a good play to get him out. That’s good baseball and that’s what we are here for.”


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