Every year, during move-out periods, we see lots of items being piled up outside apartments. This is because students who cannot sell some things or are just too lazy to do so, put everything outside their rooms. While some items are picked up by other students, most of them remain there and are disposed of, since people are unaware of the availability of a brand-new/barely used product which could be free.

After everybody leaves university for a summer break, all the items are thrown away, which creates lots of unnecessary waste! This could have been avoided if there was a platform where people can inform others about the stuff they leave behind. This way, more items would be picked up and REUSED by others, which will REDUCE the amount of waste.

What it does

“PickIt” is our solution! It’s a website that gives an opportunity to inform people about the items you throw away. In a couple of clicks, you can share some basic information about the stuff you left behind, including its location. On the other side, people can choose the items they would like to pick up by simply scrolling through the gallery of images submitted by others. After finding an item they are interested in, they can just go to the specified place (in our case, a room in one of the colleges on campus) and collect the items for free!

How we built it

Our website is built using Node.js with the database on MySQL. Bootstrap was used to help us build a responsive UI.

Challenges we ran into

One of the main challenges was the fact that we had never worked with Node.js and had very little experience in programming with javaScript. It was a completely new technology for us, and we had to learn on the go. However, this was a challenge we wanted to take. Another issue was finding a hosting platform for our project as well as working with the database, which, unfortunately kept giving us lots of errors. All these obstacles, unfortunately , did not allow us to create a more sophisticated version of the website with lots of other features that we had in mind. However, we are planning to continue working on those in future!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud that we managed to find a simple solution, which can actually help the environment and people! We are happy that we managed to efficiently work in the team and build a basic version of the solution to the excessive waste problem in just 24h.

What we learned

We are very happy that we learned new technologies, like Node.js. Greatly improved our knowledge of MySQL, JS, CSS, Bootstrap, Git, Github and HTML.

What's next for PickIt

Our aim is to polish a basic version of our website and then start adding lots of other important features. One of them could be adding a map to show the closest locations with free items. We also plan to collaborate with recycling stations and make sure that leftover items are delivered there by other people.

Furthermore, we hope to expand to locations outside of Jacobs to residential areas to prevent reckless abandonment of items and add additional features like pick-up times and pick-up location details. Furthermore, we hope to collaborate with organizations to collect items that have not been picked up after an extended interval and donate them to charities.

Share this project: