FAQ are broken down into 4 groups:
1) dealing with the sign or litter tool
2) dealing with the philosophy of T.A.P.
3) dealing with education and career
4) what can you do to support T.A.P.

Something that has to do with the grabber, net or sign:

I am having trouble removing the net from the grabber shaft.

Hold the grabber by its trigger (so that the suction-cups are away from you). Grab the black cylinder handle of the net and pull it towards you. The handle should fall into your hands.  Look at the way it was attached so you will know how to re-attach it.

I don’t know how to reconnect the net so I can re-hang the grabber-tool on the sign.

Line up the two black screws heads on “silver” shaft of the long grabber with the two large “holes” on the black handle of the net, with the actual net closer to the suction cup, grabbing end…you should be able to figure it out from here.  ; )

The wire tether keeps getting in the way, making it difficult to re-attach the net to the shaft.

A1. If the problem is that the LOOP of the wire (where it is threaded through the handle of the net) is what is getting in between the handle and the aluminum shaft, and creating the problem…yeah,  -sigh- we noticed that also.  When we attached the net to the grabber shaft with that loop, it was, literally, the last step in production line.  THAT was when we noticed that if we had rotated the hole 90* for the wire tether to go through, then that would lessen the chances of the wire tether getting in the way AND make it easier to correct.  Right now all we can say is flip that loop and the handle should attach easier.

A2.  If the stiffness of the wire tether is being "uncooperative", and is twisting weird to make reconnecting the net difficult…yeah (another -sigh-), we had it happen to us a time or two during our tests, so we are aware that it can happen.  However, compared to the other tpes of tethers we tried this coated wire preformed with the least amount of issues. Plus the “issues” the wire tether causes seem to be more of an inconvenience, just a matter of untangling the wire to correct it.    Other systems we tried that didn't pass our tests: a coiled wire, but it knotted quickly.  A flattened chain (it attached well and hung out of the way when moving about) but it was too costly at the strength level we wanted…plus it was getting weighty.  If you can think of a better tether system, we are all ears!!!  We want to keep improving T.A.P. so it becomes easier and easier to use!

The sign says that the net might “magically” fill with litter if I take it on my travels. It didn’t happen for me; what am I doing wrong?

The “magic” comes from your heart.  Don’t worry if the magic didn’t happen today, if you have a heart we are sure it will happen the next time you use T.A.P.   THAT is when the real fun begins!!!

What is the easiest way to empty the litter contents into the trash bins?

It depends on the type of trashcan top and how filled you stuffed the net with litter, but, if you use the grabber to pull the litter out of the net OR use the grabber to push the net inside out (while over the trash can, obviously) you might find it easier to empty the net.

What materials are the handles made from?

A. The material is what some people call a plastic metal (yes, I know…we tried really hard not to use plastic but we have to make health and safety a priority). Rather than having a common name for the material, it is sold by it’s compound name, acetal copolymer.  It’s a hard plastic that can be easily shaped (a cylindrical bar is one of the least expensive shapes to purchase the material in, lucky for us).  The material has such minimal absorption qualities that it is FDA approved to be used to store food in.  We struck gold with this combination and chose it as the material to make the handle of the net with.

B. The grabber tool itself is the exact same tool that both San Diego City Parks and Rec uses with their GMW (Grounds Maintenance Workers) and what is used within the San Diego City School District. We had the thought that if the tool was being used by these two litigious-oriented entities then the tool must likely have a successful history and would work for us. The shiny black handles of the grabbers seem to be made of an even less absorptive plastic-material so we were comfortable using this tool for its higher ranking in our sanitary considerations.

How sanitary are the handles?

See answer to question above.

How did you come up with the size and shape of the net?

The trapezoid shape of the net-pattern came about, again, looking for the simplest shape to do the work.  This is what qualities we looked for in order to design the shape:

  • We were looking for a wider opening than the bottom of the net, making emptying easier.
  • It had to be the smallest shape to hold at least a 10-inch picnic plate, plus a large drinking cup plus quite a bit of miscellaneous types of litter (including stuffing plastic bags found).  

Then we tested our net in the field and found this size to work really well

NOTE: We noticed the shape of the final net produced didn’t have as nice a shape as the sample prototypes created, but we “blame” that on not finding the same hem materials as the prototype.  We ended up using a ripstop nylon material for the hem (the likes of what is used to make tents) but it was slippery to use in the hands of the tailor/needleworker.

 (There are a few other things we will get better at by the next round!)

ANOTHER NOTE:   We will ALWAYS be looking for ways to improve our project.  If you happen to recognize a more efficient means to what we are trying to achieve, please let us know!  So much can be achieved if we all work together.

Can the litter tool get wet?

Yup!  They were designed to withstand the outdoors, 24/7, whether it is under hot dry conditions or salty moist sea air.

What should I do if I see a broken tool (grabber-net thingy) or a damaged sign?
  1. If one of the grabber tools looks to be damaged in a way that if handled it could cause harm/damage, please take it home/work and email us at info@totalaltruismproject.org and we will arrange to pick it up.
  2. You can always find a way to hang the damage tool back on the station as we come by regularly for maintenance purposes with replacement tools at the ready.
  3. If you notice a damaged sign, we would appreciate a notification via info@totalaltruismproject.org
I have a question that isn’t on your FAQ list.

Send us an email at info@TotalAltruismProject.org

Aren’t you concerned about theft and vandalism?

Just as that was probably one of your first thoughts, it was also one of ALL of our first thoughts!   However, we put that thought aside quickly because we focused on all the good that, we hypothesize, will pass through the many different entities, and all we have to do it make it more convenient to do an act of kindness.  When we thought of all the good this project could create, we’re hoping everyone else will increase their focus on the good.  And we all know what happens then:  what  you focus on, expands!

FAQ dealing with T.A.P.’s goals, phases, philosophy

How many feasibility studies are you planning?

Answer:  We think we will need only two "feasibility studies", however, we recognize that every park is different, and will, therefore, treat every new T.A.P. install as a mini  feasibility study in that they will be regularly monitored and maintained...but without all the science data collection.

The first feasibility study has shown where the weaknesses in the tools and signs are and we are making corrections to them.  The 2nd feasibility study will show us if our corrections did the job.  THEN we will mass produce the tools, open up more populated paths & parks and start happying up the world! 

FAQ dealing with Education and Career Opportunities



I remember reading somewhere that the Allied Gardens Community Park is T.A.P.’s “First” Feasibility Study. (a) What do you hope to gain from this feasibility study? (b) How many feasibility studies are you planning? (c) Why are you planning multiple feasibility studies?


I remember reading somewhere that the Allied Gardens Community Park is T.A.P.’s “First” Feasibility Study. (a) What do you hope to gain from this feasibility study?


Accordion title. Click here to edit

A. There are 3 main aspects of this project that we are most interested in: >to be assured that people didn't have any issues with the tools or understanding of the project. >to understand at what level the community is supportive of the project and > to gather environmental data to show what and if T.A.P. will help reduce the amount of litter entering our environment



How to get involved

How can I get involved with T.A.P.?

There’s many ways to assure our  success

  • Naturally you can make a financial donation. We are organizing for our 2nd Feasibility study right now.  The first feasibility study is already in place at the Allied Gardens Community Park, in San Diego.  We invite you to stop by and walk “The Peanut”.  Your donations will help us to open up a 2nd feasibility study in a larger park.  Our goal is to scientifically prove what positive effect T.A.P. has on the environment, both environmentally and socially before we seek corporate sponsorship so we can spread health, happiness and positive energy throughout the world.
  • We will soon have a survey available through this website. When it’s up, and you remember, we would appreciate your opinion of our project based on your experiences with T.A.P.
  • If you happen to get a fun photo of yourself/family/friends/pets using T.A.P. we would appreciate you sharing it with us on Facebook or Instagram: Total Altruism Project.
  • IF you have any advice on how to make T.A.P. better, PLEASE send us an email or something. We are always looking for ways to improve the system and will value your opinion.