Inspiration

After cleaning out our rooms as we prepared to move into dorms as college freshmen, we realized we had a lot of old items to throw away. Instead of tossing everything into the trash, many of these items could be recycled or reused through recycling programs, such as old clothing or electronics. Other types of waste, like compact fluorescent lamps or used batteries, need to be disposed of properly to help protect the environment.

What it does

RecycleMe is an Android app that allows users to take a picture of items they wish to throw away, then suggests nearby recycle centers to dispose of them properly. It displays the most efficient route to those locations, as users travel from home to work.

How we built it

  • Google Cloud Vision API to label and classify recyclable items
  • Web scraping Earth911's search to get recycle centers for identified items near the user's current location
  • Custom algorithms to consolidate the number of recycle centers visited based on the materials they accept
  • Google's Distance Matrix API to determine the most efficient path for driving to the different recycle centers
  • Google Maps SDK to display the best route to take

Challenges we ran into

  • Working with the Vision API for the first time and turning labels into categories Earth911 would recognize
  • Creating algorithms to determine efficient driving paths

What's next for RecycleMe

  • Better user interface
  • Ability to customize work location
  • Even more recyclable categories!
  • Implement Earth911's actual API instead of web scraping
  • Adding in at-home recyclable programs
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