Best Ideas 2020 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Explain your idea in details:
Recyclear is an environmental technology startup that aims to unite communities to collectively protect the environment to minimize waste production and maximize recycling output by leveraging machine learning object recognition and cloud computing. We present an intelligent automated waste sorter that easily, quickly, and effectively segregates waste items between recycling and trash. After a user places a waste item into the trash can, a snapshot of the object is taken by a small, high-definition camera and computer vision algorithms created using the Python Tensorflow framework classify the item as either recycling or trash with high accuracy. Items are physically segregated by a fast tilting mechanism into a recycling or trash bin, which are easily removable from the sides of the trashcan. Our extensive testing indicated that the intelligent classification algorithm generally outperformed an average person's ability to segregate their waste. If connected to Wi-Fi, the trashcan can increase its classification speed by performing its calculations on Google's Cloud Platform, but it can still perform within an acceptable speed margin without WiFi due to the computational power offered by the Raspberry Pi 4 onboard. The trashcan can also measure environmental protection by monitoring trash consumption and recycling output through precise embedded weight sensors. These statistics are easily accessible through the onboard touch screen interface or the Recyclear mobile application. The mobile app provides users with their consumption statistics, important environmental news updates, and allows them to socially network and compete with other users in a communal effort to better the environment. Recyclear offers immense potential to fundamentally revolutionize the culture of recycling by making it hassle-free, quick and efficient, and competitive among members of the community, bringing us several steps closer to a cleaner Earth for the next generations of humanity.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
Recyclear fixes the problem of recycling incorrectly with a bottom-up approach, giving each user the ability to manage their own waste independently and efficiently, reducing missorting at the source. By equipping each individual with responsible waste management systems, it effectively ensures that less recyclable material goes to landfills and less trash goes to recycling plants, reducing the need for highly complex, time-consuming, and energy exhaustive sorting methods at the plants. Additionally, the community competition provided by the Recyclear mobile app encourages individuals to recycle more, consume less trash, and get involved with environmental community efforts. Thus, Recyclear not only helps reintroduce more material into the recycling loop and lessen trash output of individuals but it also alleviates the work needed to be performed by intermediate waste sorting facilities, ultimately reducing energy and material consumption to slow global warming. The impacts of Recyclear target Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) to foster a more resourceful and material-efficient lifestyle and reduce the growth of landfills and Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) to unify communities to manage recycling together for a cleaner Earth. To evaluate the impact of Recyclear, indicators for success will be measured in relation to environmental and social impact. The environmental impact will be measured by the consumption statistics captured by the weight sensors of the bins and the rate of improvement of each bin. Each mobile application user is given an EcoRating score which is a measurement of how well they recycle, consume trash, and attend community events. Lastly, the social impact will be measured by users' community involvement and activity in the environmental news to gauge how the app affects individuals' environmental mindset and efforts to better recycle. Additional social impacts can be estimated through sales data, consumer feedback, and questionnaires.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Recyclear's core business model is broken up into four sections: Customer Value Proposition, Go-To-Market Plan, Technology&Operations Management, and our Cash Flow Formula. Recyclear targets two primary market segments. Our primary customers will be middle-class households who wish to protect the environment. We predict that the gamification aspect and social network of Recyclear will appeal to individuals within a household. Users are able to recycle passively while competing with friends to see who has the greatest impact on the environment. Our secondary market will be tech businesses looking to better recycle and improve company culture. Many tech companies currently offer luxuries such as chefs, on-campus bicycles, and others in order to attract high-level engineers. We aim for Recyclear to be another attractive feature that businesses can position all-around their campuses. For our Go-To-Market Plan, well have a strong emphasis on our marketing. In general, there has been an increased emphasis on environmental protection, and well use the culture to gain traction. We plan to use social media campaigns, word of mouth marketing, and partnerships with small businesses. In regards to Technology&Operations Management, we plan to develop our first Minimum Viable Product inhouse. This means we won't need to rely on outsourcing or extra costs other than parts. Our Cash Flow Formula and revenue stream comes through the individual sales of each machine, coupled with a freemium model. Our customers will purchase Recyclear for a set price, and for access to premium features or faster compute times, they can pay a premium price for each month. To gain initial capital, we plan to use Crowdfunding or GoFundMe and raise donations to begin manufacturing. Individuals who contribute large amounts will get first prototypes of the Recyclear. We aim for Recyclear to launch over a two-year timeline.
Derek and Vikas are 16 and 17, respectively, and seniors at Dublin High School (California, USA) and share a passion for engineering solutions to help their environment. Growing up in the Bay Area, they saw communities inflicted with a disease of privelegedness. They saw how many lived in their own bubble, feeling as though others were able to do anything they wanted to, with absolutely no regard for the consequences. They saw trash, littered in parks and schools, everywhere except in trash cans. They saw the destructive capabilities of humanity firsthand, and they knew they had to do something. Through a school field trip, they visited a local waste management facility and were privy to their own community's failure to recycle. Staring at the giant vats of trash and recycling, they wondered, how could their own community, a community they thought was educated, still be so ignorant of the world's problems? From this instance, they knew there was a real problem at hand. Officers at the facility explained how they have complex machines to sort it, but with every passing year, a clear upward trend of trash and recycling being mixed emerges. They realized that if people didn't take action soon, their Earth may be doomed beyond salvation. As captains of their school's competitive robotics teams, they have extensively studied robotics, programming, and hardware. In competitions, they worked to create autonomous routines for their VEX robots, and they were proud to say that they applied the same knowledge to solving the world's current environmental issues. Ultimately, they hope to do their part in helping curb this global problem. Lastly, check out their website here! http://recyclear.ml/