Inspiration

"Recycle Wat, Son?" for short is a web application to identify recyclable materials and find cool ways to reuse them. We noticed that a lot of things that could be reused are just thrown away, especially here on our college campus. Harmful disposal of recyclable items can easily be avoided if people knew cool ways to reuse the items. Our application hopes to reduce the amount of waste people create in their everyday lives. We hope for a cleaner and safer environment, free from unnecessary waste and wasteful and uncreative people.

What it does

The application allows users to upload pictures or copy image links of items that they would like to dispose of. With help from IBM Watson and the use of IBM Bluemix API, the application identifies the material of the item and gives cool DIY instructions on how to reuse the item. If the item is not recyclable, the application provides other options.

How we built it

We built the application using Flask, a full-stack web development microframework for Python. We also integrated IBM Watson in our backend to process the images. Lastly, we used HTML5 and CSS for our frontend.

Challenges we ran into

Other than the fact that most of our team had no previous experience in web development, our team encountered two rather large challenges. The first was deploying our website to a web hosting service like Amazon. This challenge arose because of two factors: first, our team did not have enough time to deploy the code to the website, and second, the majority of our team did not have experience in deploying websites.

The second challenge our team encountered was uploading local images to the IBM Watson server. Essentially, the website could not find where the local images were stored on the computer.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Most of our team did not have any previous experience in either front-end or back-end web development, so over the course of a day, our team both learned and implemented the Python Flask framework to build a dynamic website.

What we learned

Our team learned the Python Flask Framework and how to interface our programs with Bluemix, IBM Watson's API for visual recognition. We also learned how to design a sleek, user interface using HTML and CSS.

What's next for "You Wanna Recycle Wat, Son?"

We hope to actually host our application on a web hosting service so more users can access this environmentally conscious web application. This app is a cool way to get everyone involved in making the world a better place.

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