One day, one of our teammates was throwing out garbage in his apartment complex and the building manager made him aware that certain plastics he was recycling were soft plastics that can't be recycled.
According to a survey commissioned by Covanta, “2,000 Americans revealed that 62 percent of respondents worry that a lack of knowledge is causing them to recycle incorrectly (Waste360, 2019).” We then found that knowledge of long “Because the reward [and] the repercussions for recycling... aren’t necessarily immediate, it can be hard for people to make the association between their daily habits and those habits’ consequences (HuffingtonPost, 2016)”.
From this research, we found that lack of knowledge or awareness can be detrimental to not only to personal life, but also to meeting government societal, environmental, and sustainability goals.
What it does
When an individual is unsure of how to dispose of an item, "Bin it" allows them to quickly scan the item and find out not only how to sort it (recycling, compost, etc.) but additional information regarding potential re-use and long-term impact.
How I built it
After brainstorming before the event, we built it by splitting roles into backend, frontend, and UX design/research. We concepted and prioritized features as we went based on secondary research, experimenting with code, and interviewing a few hackers at the event about recycling habits.
We used Google Vision API for the object recognition / scanning process. We then used Vue and Flask for our development framework.
Challenges I ran into
We ran into challenges with deployment of the application due to . Getting set up was a challenge that was slowly overcome by our backend developers getting the team set up and troubleshooting.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We were able to work as a team towards a goal, learn, and have fun! We were also able work with multiple Google API's. We completed the core feature of our project.
What I learned
Learning to work with people in different roles was interesting. Also designing and developing from a technical stand point such as designing for a mobile web UI, deploying an app with Flask, and working with Google API's.
What's next for Bin it
We hope to review feedback and save this as a great hackathon project to potentially build on, and apply our learnings to future projects,