City of Dallas invest $4 million dollars in collecting the litter from the streets of Dallas which is both energy and labor intensive. According to a report published by National Geographic, 13% of the total waste accumulated on the Texas highways are Cigarette Butts, nearly about 130 million butts in a year. Therefore, we are inspired to solve this problem of the city of Dallas through technology by less consumption of energy and labor, and extensively reducing the amount spent to mitigate the problem.
What it does
CigRed is an app for the individuals to sell their cigarette butts which enables them to see their progress in collecting the cigarette butts and getting themselves rewarded with excited coupons and offers once they meet their target. This app is set up in so manner that everyday consumer will receive alerts if they have met their target, and will notify us, and our representative to pick up the cigarette butts from their home.
How I built it
We are using ReactNative for App Development which would make it available for both iOS and android devices with backend of Grails framework which is the powerful Groovy-based web application framework for the JVM. The database is in MS-SQL which is organized with grails. We have three members delicately working on Frontend, Backend and Business aspect of the idea with implementation of agile software development process.
Challenges I ran into
Technologically, we ran into problems like push-pull issues with git, designing complex databases and having to update and redo them as we were gaining traction. One of our major challenge is to incorporate Facebook login system which requires Facebook to review our privacy terms and validate our account which we are looking for alternatives. Overall, staying up all night for doing what we love to do was fun to be challenged for.
Accomplishments that I am proud of
Generating an idea on solving the world’s number #1 litter problem “Cigarette Butt” is what we are very proud of being able to use our technological knowledge to develop a solution. Building a mobile app and business model in 24 hours is another thing we feel proud of. We are passionate and excited to see our idea working into the real world as we will be working continuing our effort to enhance and launch this project shortly with the help of contacts we’ve mede during the event.
What I learned
The very important concept I learned here is about the litter management, specifically the cigarette butts—small yet a big threat to the environment and life forms. I learned how to implement my technological knowledge into the environmental issues to make this world a better place and reduce the cost and energy required to manage the litters. This event taught us how a small step with strong will power and determination can generate a huge ripple among the people who are aware of the problem, and they provide enormous support towards the common goal of sustainable and clean future.
What’s next for CigRed
CigRed will start its operations after the finalization of the part of the town we want to pilot. We have verbal commitments for collaboration from Sidewalk Buttler, cigarette recycling program that is operational in different part of the United States. We are looking forward to starting working from this summer with the organization we are starting to approach since the ideation of the solution. CigRed is aiming to partner with the organizations such as United Nations Environmental Program, government entities, city administrative, and universities. We will be doing research on increasing the efficiency of idea to encourage more individuals to manage cigarettes litters, because the best way to get rid of it is never to throw one.