[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Recycle and Get R.A.G” google_fonts=”font_family:Fjalla%20One%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:35|text_align:center|color:%23ac2d34″][vc_empty_space height=”20″][vc_custom_heading text=”by Genesis Cruz, Kaelynn Danso, & Seth Shekel” google_fonts=”font_family:Fjalla%20One%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_overlay=”color” row_overlay_opacity=”5″ row_overlay_color=”#0f0f0f”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”A few words from the participant(s)” google_fonts=”font_family:Fjalla%20One%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” font_container=”tag:h3|font_size:25|text_align:center|color:%23ac2d34″][vc_empty_space height=”20″][vc_custom_heading text=”What steps did you take to develop your project?” google_fonts=”font_family:Fjalla%20One%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” font_container=”tag:h4|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″][vc_column_text]The construction involved both hardware and software components. Using skills, developed in computer science and robotics, we were able to set up the software for our project. The device is run by an Arduino board that connects all of the other parts and allows them to send information to one another. The parts are connected to the Arduino board using male-female wire, except for the speaker which uses male-male because both the board and speaker have female connectors. The male end of the wires have pins that allow it to connect to the board. The board has the code uploaded to it and executes it using the components of the device, like the sensor, SD card module, and speaker. The device uses the ultrasonic sensor to sense if a recyclable has been dropped in the bin by sending out waves and measuring distance based on how long it took for the wave to be reflected back to the sensor. If the recyclable, in this case a bottle, was detected, the SD card module would be used to read the audio file. The audio file information would then be sent to the speaker, which would play the audio. Our entire project is encased in a humble cardboard box with masking tape. The inside has separate compartments for the Arduino board and the batteries, and the lid has a small slit for the sensor  and speaker to escape from. The inside was lined with an anti-static bag to protect the Arduino board from static electricity. 

Pictures A and E(which can be seen in the video) demonstrate our project’s internal Arduino system, and the set up on the bin. After constructing the project, we had to ensure its functionality. Sure, we tested at every step of construction to make sure that things were going as planned. But we soon discovered that the function of the project within the context of its intended application would be a lot more difficult. While testing this, we came across several issues, like the sensitivity of the sensor being too high, the sensor not wanting to stay in place, and volume of the speaker being too loud. But with a modest amount of tape and some tweaking to the code, there was nothing we couldn’t fix. This is demonstrated in our proof of concept video. And so to test our project, we first ensure it could function in the bin. Then it was left alone to be used. Then at the end of each school day, we would check the bin and count the bottles. Then the process repeated.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20″][vc_custom_heading text=”Why are you competing?” google_fonts=”font_family:Fjalla%20One%3Aregular|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” font_container=”tag:h4|font_size:20|text_align:center|color:%23000000″][vc_column_text]Despite the multitude of issues we faced while building it, we still know that the engineering process is nonlinear and allows for redesign and improvement. Therefore, were we to be given the opportunity to improve upon our device with the knowledge that we now have, we could take practical steps like increasing the volume, changing the placement of the bin, and ensuring that the testing period allows for professional data collection. Often the problem I find with common attempts to increase recycling is that it is impersonal. I myself have often seen ads and posters encouraging recycling, and have said to myself “Someone else will do it.” With this project, recycling, and incentive to do so, will become a part of everyday life in a minimally intrusive and affordable device. Our device isn’t perfect, but rarely does any sort of success begin perfectly. Granted, recycling isn’t a perfect solution to waste management and environmental health, but it is a realistic solution that has been proven to work. And positive reinforcement is a very efficient tool in not only promoting desired behaviors and good habits, but specifically in recycling. If we could better the world around us by recycling plastic, then we could accomplish our goal: not a lavish fix-all device, but a simple, affordable object that could be incorporated into everyday life. We believe this project can make great changes, and we hope to share this vision with the world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/DNjZ7UYOX8k”][/vc_column][/vc_row]