South Africa, University Of Johannesburg


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Francois Volschenk
South Africa
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Kyle Botes
South Africa
South Africa

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Project Overview

The LitterBugs system was created for the University of Johannesburg to tackle the problem of lack of user participation. The three main problems that were identified that prevent people from participating in the university's recycling project are: not knowing where to find the recycling stations on campus, not knowing which bin to use for certain items, bins not being maintained or emptied. Our project aims to solve these issues by providing a platform that helps our users to locate bins near them on campus, identifies the appropriate bin to use for the item they wish to dispose of and allowing them to report problems such as a full, broken, or missing bin so that the staff in charge of that bin's area may be notified and can resolve the issue. Our system also estimates how full each bin is to automatically report it when it gets filled up. Research conducted into the lack of participation shows that students want recognition for taking part in recycling on campus, so the LitterBugs system makes use of a gamification approach where users gain points and badges for the items that they recycle using our system. These points are assigned to the items based on their resale value (material type) and their impact on the environment if not recycled properly. The points are used to place users on a leaderboard which can be viewed by other users of the system. The university will also use the leaderboard to identify the top recyclers to reward them with prizes (these prizes are chosen by management). The LitterBugs system also provides an admin portal where a managerial user can view statistics generated on user participation. They can investigate participation across the 4 campuses of the University, in the various faculties, and between the various user types (students, lecturers and non-academic staff). These statistics can help them make informed decisions on where to focus their efforts to get more people to participate in recycling on campus, either by using targeted marketing to get more people aware of the system, or by using targeted incentives to get more people interested in the system.

About Team

We are a group of final year university students studying Computer Science and informatics. Our goal is to create a project that not only takes on a major problem facing the environment, but also allows us to learn more about the technologies we use and how we can apply them in different ways to find creative solutions to these problems.

Technologies we are looking to use in our projects

Internet of Things (IoT
Machine Learning

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