The Australian fire hit the world hard the past few months. This horrendous incident took away billions of innocent lives. Properties of locals are burned down to ashes. Some aboriginal species are at risk of extinction. This is one of the consequences that global warming is leading us to. Other than that, waste problem is also a huge issue. Hundreds of tons of plastic is polluting our oceans every year. We came up with a good idea that could raise the awareness to it - a modern trash bin that could inspire people to categorize their trash and recycle, which we name it Motrabin.

What it does

Motrabin prompts the user to enter the specific bar label located on the package of a trash to the system. And a specific bin, let’s say for plastic, would open up and allow the user to throw in. If the trash does not have a barcode, the user interface would lead the user through to the right recycle bin/landfill.

How we built it

We coded the trash bin system prototype mainly in javascript, having html and css doing the output interface. We have several functions to filter if the trash is metal/glass/plastic/landfill. We also had a counter to check if each of the recycle bin is full or not. If it is full it would send a signal and await for admin to take the recycles/landfill away. Admin is authorized to reset bins, setting count to 0, upon taking recycles away.

We also designed the physical structure of Motrabin. The software controlled recycle system has a screen attached to the rear of the bins. The lid is not only designed to prevent people from throwing trash into the wrong bins, but it also prevents unpleasant smell from coming out.

Challenges we ran into

One of the main challenges that we faced during this 24 hour event was--how to put together our ideas and make it into reality in a timely and structured manner. At first we thought that it would be great to create a high tech recycle infrastructure - to categorize the collected trash at a dump station. However, after that thinking that raising awareness of protecting our environment should start from the people, we made a hard decision to design a modern trash bin that people could use in their everyday lives.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud to be able to put our enthusiasm for protecting the environment into practice. We designed and implemented the infrastructure of the system from scratch, using our everyday intuition and skill sets that we knew already or obtained as we go. Another thing that we are proud of is the core value of this project. We thought it could inspire more people to care more about our environment.

What we learned

From this experience, we learned to collaborate with each other. From sharing visions of impacting the society to the final touch of implementing our ideas, we worked as a whole. Even though we ran into silly but dreadful bugs in the process, we managed to help each other out. We came here to learn and we did. Team spirit, innovation, coding skillsets, engineering graphing, etc., we had a colorful taste of all of those. Yet there is more to come. Learning never stops.

What's next for Motrabin

To enhance the features of Motrabin, we plan to design an app for the cleaning personnel, who will be notified through the app when Motrabin capacity is reached. This way, Motrabins can be tracked and managed efficiently. In the future, we also plan to create an app that users could look up all sorts of products and acknowledge how the products could be recycled.

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