Easy Recycle

"Is this recyclable?" Many people try to be environmentally conscious but are puzzled when it comes to throwing away their trash. According to the EPA, 75% of American waste is recyclable, but only 30% of it is actually recycled.

Easy Recycle helps users quickly separate trash into the correct waste bins: compost, recyclables, and landfill trash. This will divert trash to be recycled or composted, drastically reducing landfill waste.

How to Use

To initiate, say "Alexa, open Easy Recycle."

"Do you need help sorting your trash?" "Yes" "Is it organic waste?" ...

Alexa prompts the users with a variety of other questions to deduce what type of trash the user has. There are different recyclables and seven forms of plastic that Alexa differentiates between. The user and Alexa continue to interact until the correct type of trash bin is decided upon.

How It's Built

We utilized Amazon Web Services and the Alexa development platform to program a decision-tree that enables Alexa to choose how to respond based off varied user input. The program is written in NodeJS and uploaded to Amazon's servers, automatically integrated into our simulated Alexa. The published skill will be soon available to use across all Alexa products.

We chose to build this service on Alexa in order to be most accessible to consumers. Trash in hand, a user can ask Alexa how to sort it on the fly.


The goal of this project is to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste that enters landfills. Being able to quickly ask Alexa the questions while throwing away trash provides an easy hands-free solution to the confusion at the trash bins.

In this process, we also hope to educate users in the long-term. When Alexa chooses the correct waste bin, it can briefly explain how that bin works and where the trash will go. We hope that Alexa helps users make better decisions for the future.

_ Happy Trashing! _

Built at Hack Davis 2017

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