ABC News’ Ines de la Cuetara reports:
From Tindr to SleepCycle to SnapChat, there are apps for everything, but prepare for one more: LeftoverSwap, which lets users exchange their half-eaten burgers, pizza, potato chips and more.
“Snap a picture of what you can’t eat, name it and share the rest of your meal,” reads the app’s website. A pin then drops on a map, enabling “Leftover Takers” to browse their options by geographical location.
By enabling strangers to share their leftover pasta — “still warm!” — and trade Poptarts for orange juice, LeftoverSwap promises to help eliminate waste. Last year, the National Resources Defense Council found that 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes to waste every year.
Seattle-based founders Dan Newmann and Bryan Summersett came up with the idea three years ago. The two had ordered too much pizza and found they had no more room in their fridge to store the leftovers. They joked about their ability to broadcast the fact that they had extra pizza to people in the area — and LeftoverSwap was born.
“It’s just as much the result of technology — the fact that most people now have a GPS in their pockets — as it is of a cultural phenomenon,” Newman said. “People are becoming more and more comfortable meeting other people on the Internet.”
The app launched last week and has so far been downloaded more than 2,500 times. One user in Belgium is giving away four waffles. Another in Atlanta lists “8 slices of delicious fried pickles.” In New York, the choices range from a “peanut butter granola bar” with a “very slight wear on the wrapper (from being in my backpack)” to “breaking bad rock candy, leftover ‘meth’ candy from viewing of the last episode of Breaking Bad.”
Matt Green, 24, the first LeftoverSwap customer, said he was at work when he learned through the app that food was available a block away.
Green made sure the bag of Pop Chips he was venturing out for was in good condition, met up with the “giver” and said he’d never enjoyed a bag of chips more.
“It’s more rewarding than just buying a piece of food,” he said. “It was almost like a gift, I appreciated it more. And it probably works the other way around, too — giving is one of the most rewarding experiences.”
LeftoverSwappers’ main concern is, of course, the condition of the food.
“The most important takeaway,” reads the app’s website, is to use common sense. Guidelines suggest not giving away any food you wouldn’t eat yourself and not taking any food without knowing how old it is.
“It’s definitely use at your own risk, kind of like Craigslist,” Newman said.
LeftoverSwap is free and available for download on iPhones and iPads. Developers are currently working on an Android and Web version.