Frequently, we found ourselves next to a waste disposal, unsure whether to throw our containers into the garbage or recycling. On one end, we want to be environmentally conscious, but on the other end, we recognize that one misrecycled item can have drastic consequences on the rest of the items placed in the recycling, in extreme cases making entire recycling collections unusable. We were inspired to find a way to use technology and innovation to aid in this conundrum: What exactly is recyclable?
What it does
CycleIt provides an interactive and engaging platform for individuals to learn more about recycling. When users are unsure whether an item is recyclable or not, they can take a photos that CycleIt will classify and identify as either being recyclable or non-recyclable. CycleIt also provides a multitude of recycling resources and information to help users increase awareness about recycling.
How we built it
The frontend was built in HTML/CSS using JQuery and bulma. Our first goal was to create a (rudimentary) connection between the Client-side and Server side applications. This was key because we needed to make sure our backend and frontend were incrementally growing together, providing for a much more organic and hassle-free development. From there, we divided and conquered, getting to work on the Client-side design, scaling quickly yet carefully, allowing ourselves time at the end to really put the finishing touches on the appearance. We set up the firebase database and got to work developing server-side HTTP request handling to classify images to objects, identify objects as recyclable/non-recyclable, and returning clean, easy to use responses to the client.
Challenges we ran into
Seamless mobile integration was our goal from the beginning, which proved to be a formidable yet rewarding task. Also, our fellow hackers proved to be very challenging opponents in spike ball.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're very proud of the Google Cloud Image Classification; We think it is a very powerful and useful tool that will has potential to sizably contribute to the sustainability of our planet. We are really excited about the UI; we put a lot of effort into making Cycleit as comfortable and streamlined to the user as possible, and we were impressed with the progress we made in just 24 hours.
What we learned
We learned a lot about Firebase and the power of Google cloud. We gained a ton of experience with the development of dynamic and interactive web pages. We learned a lot about how to collaborate as a team, being diligent with every step we took to make sure our
What's next for CycleIt
We hope to make CycleIt mimic a social media platform, allowing users to share items that they have recycled or reused. Individuals would be able to keep track of their weekly sustainable practices, and informally compete with their friends. We also hope to expand the image classification information. For example right now the image classifier only outputs a binary-either an item is recyclable or not. We hope to adde more nuance to this discussion, potentially adding more cases for items such as batteries, which are able to be recycled if dropped off in specialized bins.