Pollution is a grave environmental concern that poses a significant threat to the health and well-being of not only humans but also animals and our planet as a whole. Fortunately, recycling presents a potent solution to safeguard the environment and conserve natural resources. Recycling has a twofold advantage, as it not only creates job opportunities and boosts local economies but also helps to alleviate the negative impact of pollution. As an Algerian citizen, I take pride in the fact that our nation boasts of a network of dedicated individuals working towards recycling waste products. However, it is disheartening to note that despite their immense efforts, the recycling process still takes a considerable amount of time, and the impact on the environment is minimal. Algeria produces an average of 13.1 million tonnes of household waste each year, which amounts to one kilogram per person per day. Of this waste, about 45%, equivalent to 6.1 million tonnes, can be recycled, including 1.22 million tonnes of plastics, 1.6 million tonnes of textiles, and 300,000 tonnes of metals, according to the authorities of this North African country. Unfortunately, due to the limited number of collectors, people often resort to throwing away their trash without any benefit. To encourage recycling and optimize the existing network, we propose a system that incentivizes people to recycle their waste by offering monetary rewards. This system will make it easier for organizations that require these recyclable materials to obtain them.
What it does
Our solution to tackle the issue of waste and environmental pollution is GreenCycle - a mobile application that serves as a "be-to-be" system. The app connects people and organizations that possess recyclable materials and wish to derive value from them, rather than discarding them and further contributing to pollution. GreenCycle also links these individuals with organizations that specialize in collecting and recycling these products. The app's user-friendly interface allows users to create announcements showcasing what they wish to sell or give away, while recyclers can easily browse these offers in the app. GreenCycle incorporates a unique feature that differentiates recyclable products from other waste items, providing recyclers with the assurance that they will only access materials suitable for the recycling process. Furthermore, the app categorizes products systematically, including plastic, wood, organic waste, and others. This ensures that users can quickly and efficiently navigate through the app to find the products they require. With GreenCycle, we aim to encourage individuals and organizations to make sustainable choices and contribute to a healthier, cleaner planet.
How we built it
Our solution integrates a computer vision-based software that differentiates whether the shown product to the camera can be recyclable or not. and it gives more information about the conditions in which this article can be recycled or reused to ensure the optimal use of it. The system provides 2 types of interfaces based on the type of user the client wants to be, whether provider or recycler, based on their needs and the objectives they want to accomplish using our app.
Challenges we ran into
The most significant obstacle we encountered during the development process was deciding on the ideal concept for our project while ensuring it does not conflict with the requirements of the 3rd sub-track. We invested considerable effort in brainstorming to identify a feasible solution that could address the problem at hand while aligning with the sub-track's parameters. Another crucial challenge we faced was designing the app with a robust business model, one that could generate revenue sustainably. This required us to carefully consider various monetization strategies while ensuring that our app remained user-friendly and accessible to all. Despite these challenges, we persevered and were able to develop an innovative app that effectively tackles the issue of waste and environmental pollution while providing a sound business model.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
After 40h of work, we were able to : 1- Prepare the mobile app prototype. 2-Fully implements an ai model that detects if a product is recyclable or not. 3- Fully implement the screens of the mobile app with kotlin and node-js. 4- Prepare the business model of our solution. 5- Do a demonstration video of our model.
What we learned
Since the commencement of IWD23, our team has embarked on a journey of discovery and learning, delving deep into the market to identify the perfect idea that would align with our mission of preserving the environment. Countless hours of research and analysis were invested in understanding the needs and motivations of the Algerian people, ensuring that our solution resonated with them and motivated them to take concrete action towards a cleaner and greener future. After extensive market research, we were able to identify the ideal solution and began working on developing a prototype of our app. We devoted ourselves to crafting a user-friendly and visually appealing design while simultaneously integrating a robust business model. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure that every detail of the app was thoroughly examined, and that we remained true to our mission of providing a practical solution for waste reduction and recycling.
What's next for GreenCycle
For our team, the development of GreenCycle represents only the beginning of our journey towards creating a sustainable and environmentally conscious future. Looking ahead, we have ambitious plans to expand our business and establish a network of points of sale where individuals can sell their recyclable items directly to us. This will not only help to promote waste reduction but also foster a sense of community engagement and involvement. Furthermore, we recognize the importance of education and awareness-raising in promoting sustainable practices. As such, we are exploring the possibility of incorporating a training process into our app, providing users with valuable insights and guidance on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle items in their daily lives. This training process will aim to reach individuals across all settings, including homes, schools, and workplaces, inspiring them to adopt eco-friendly practices and make a positive impact on the environment. We remain committed to our mission of creating a greener and cleaner world and are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.
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