The Confluence Lab

Confluence means to flow together, like the meeting of two or more streams, or the merging of diverse ideas.

The Confluence Lab at UIS provides a physical and mental space that encourages the greater UIS community to come together to create innovative solutions for water and environmental challenges, by promoting creativity, openness, and participation from students across disciplines and diverse community stakeholders.

30-Minute Litter Walk 2019


litter picked up during litter walk

We challenge you to go for a walk and pick up all the litter you find. When you get back, spread it out and send us a picture, along with some basic info about the location. Try to go for 30 minutes—if you go longer, great. Only have time for a short walk? That’s fine too.

A quick note on the picture: We will be using your images for research and educational purposes. Please do not include any people in the images you send to us. Also, we will be using AI to classify the litter in the images. Please spread out your litter in a single layer with good lighting—this will help us to get better data.


more litter picked up during litter walk

There are lots of good reasons to pick up litter. One is to keep the spaces we live in clean. Studies show that people are more likely to litter if there is litter in the area around them, so cleaning-up may help reduce future littering.

Some types of litter, particularly those made from, or containing plastic, can be a big problem in the environment. These materials last so long that for all purposes they never go away. Instead they break down to smaller and smaller pieces, eventually becoming micro plastics that can find their way into fish, birds, and our drinking water.


Before heading out on your walk, grab a bag (either a reusable bag, or give that single use grocery bag a second life), and a garden glove or two. Simply pick up what you find as litter and put it in the bag.

DO NOT pick up anything you find that might be hazardous (for example: needles, razor blades, dirty diapers, other biohazards, etc.).

When you come back from your walk, spread out the litter, take a picture, send it to us, and then recycle or dispose of the items properly.

Even litter picked up during litter walk