Our common passion for sustainability quickly turned into the idea of recycling and composting. Though we make conscious decisions to discard items into the right bins, we realized that we did not know in detail about the methods of managing waste. This is where we decided to do the research ourselves and create an iOS app that would benefit others as well.
What it does
E-Grow is an iOS app that gives you guidelines on how and what to compost or recycle. There are four sections: one tab gives an explanation of the two approaches; in the second tab the user can take a photo of an item and find out if it is recyclable or compostable; in the third tab a map shows nearby drop-off locations for compost/recycle; the final tab displays the count of the user's composts and recycles.
How we built it
We first prototyped the app on Figma, then coded in Swift. We used the Vision + Core ML framework sample code from Apple and modified it for our use of image recognition. We also used Firebase to sign users up and log them in.
Challenges we ran into
We had multiple issues with merge conflicts when pushing to or pulling from GitHub. We also ran into problems with constraints while getting the elements to be centered on the screen.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud to have come up with substantial ideas for the app and make them come to life. We were able to use all of our tools effectively, including Vision + Core ML and Firebase.
What we learned
We learned that the most of our debugging comes not from the actual code, but from minimal aspects such as constraints and version control. Most importantly, we are now more educated on the ways of composting and recycling!
What's next for E-Grow
We would love to continue enhancing the prototype and translating that onto Xcode. More adjustments would be made for the map tab to refine the drop-off locations better, and for the user's own profile tab we would love to add a point system and challenges to motivate the users to be more environmentally friendly.