Our team wanted to help people recycle more around the city, especially because recycling isn't readily available to everyone. We had all experienced the guilt that comes from tossing a bottle into the trash because of no available recycling bins. With RecycleRadar, people can easily find recycling bins that are close by. This decreases waste, and, as a result, pollution.
What it does
RecycleRadar encourages recycling and environmental action. The app (in its current state) has two options: users can either place markers at the locations of recycling bins or view the map for locations of recycling bins. The app relies on crowdsourced data, so as more users add data to the app, it will gain additional functionality. Locations with clusters of markers mean that there is a recycling can in that location, and more markers in a cluster mean that many people have used the recycling can. As of now, we do not have much data in the app, but this can change as more people start to use the app.
How we built it
We built RecycleRadar using Android Studio, and IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for Androids. We got help from mentors and the Android app development workshop at ByteHacks.
Challenges we ran into
We had difficulties implementing Google Maps API into our app. It was easy for us to make the interface of the app and the map portion of the app separately, but ran into errors when putting the activities (or screens) together. We overcame this with online tutorials. Many of our challenges were technical- we had to download and update programs time and time again, and this consumed a lot of time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Starting out, no one in our group had any experience with web or app development. We started learning about Android Studio and how to use it as we went along. Before today, the task of creating an app seemed daunting, even impossible. However, as we attended workshops at ByteHacks and learned more about Android Studio from mentors, it became much easier.
What we learned
We learned the basics of app development in \ Android Studio, and learned how to use Google Maps API.
What's next for RecycleRadar
Recycle Radar still has a long way to go with its basic functions, but our team has many plans for complex developments. We plan add colors to the markers to represent different types of recycling- green for paper, blue for cans, etc. Our app will show people a wide variety of things to recycle and where to recycle them, including electronics and batteries. We also want to provide instructions and statistics for recycling in an information portion of our app. Because RecycleRadar is crowdsourced, we also need to increase the number of users to get actual data. By getting our app to be more widely used, we can improve it.