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Cover image for Recycling Companion: Revolutionizing Recycling with AI and Community Engagement
Mursal Furqan Kumbhar
Mursal Furqan Kumbhar

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Recycling Companion: Revolutionizing Recycling with AI and Community Engagement

In a world increasingly concerned about environmental sustainability, the importance of recycling cannot be overstated. However, despite widespread awareness of the benefits of recycling, many individuals still struggle with the complexities of proper waste disposal. Enter Recycling Companion, a groundbreaking mobile application that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and modern mobile technologies to simplify the recycling process and empower users to make environmentally responsible choices.

Revolutionizing Recycling with Technology

Recycling Companion represents a significant leap forward in waste management and recycling efforts. At its core, the application leverages cutting-edge AI algorithms to identify different types of waste accurately. By simply pointing their device's camera at an item, users can instantly receive information about its recyclability and proper disposal methods. This seamless integration of technology into everyday life makes recycling more accessible and convenient than ever before.

Features That Make a Difference

1. Waste Identification Made Easy

Using the latest advancements in computer vision and deep learning, Recycling Companion can recognize a wide range of recyclable materials, including plastic, glass, paper, metal, and more. The process is simple: users capture an image of the item they wish to dispose of, and the application quickly analyzes it to determine its recyclability. This feature not only saves time but also helps users make informed decisions about waste management.

const takePicture = async () => {
    if (cameraRef.current) {
        const options = { quality: 0.5, base64: true };
        const data = await cameraRef.current.takePictureAsync(options);
        Vibration.vibrate(); // Vibrate when picture is taken
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2. Detailed Disposal Instructions

Beyond identifying recyclable materials, Recycling Companion provides users with comprehensive instructions on how to dispose of each item properly. Whether it's recycling, composting, or hazardous waste disposal, the application offers tailored guidance based on best practices and local regulations. This ensures that users can confidently take the necessary steps to minimize their environmental impact.

// Function to generate disposal instructions based on garbage type
const generateDisposalInstruction = (garbageClass) => {
    switch (garbageClass.toLowerCase()) {
        case "battery":
            return "Dispose of batteries at designated battery recycling centers to prevent environmental contamination.";
        case "biological":
            return "Biological waste, such as food scraps and yard waste, should be composted to reduce landfill waste and produce nutrient-rich soil.";
        // Other cases omitted for brevity
            return "Dispose of this item according to your local waste management guidelines.";
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3. User Engagement and Tracking

Recycling Companion goes beyond basic waste identification and disposal guidance by fostering user engagement and accountability. Through personalized user profiles, individuals can track their recycling efforts over time, earn rewards for environmentally friendly behavior, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals. This gamified approach to recycling encourages sustained participation and helps build a more environmentally conscious society.

const updateScore = async () => {
    if (userData) {
        const userRef = doc(db, "users", userData.uid);
        const userDoc = await getDoc(userRef);
        if (userDoc.exists()) {
            const userScore =;
            const newScore = userScore + 10;
            await setDoc(userRef, { score: newScore }, { merge: true });
            alert("10 Points Added!");
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Importing the AI Model

To power the waste identification capabilities of Recycling Companion, we utilized a pre-trained machine learning model trained on a dataset of various waste items. The model was trained using TensorFlow.js, a JavaScript library for training and deploying machine learning models in the browser and on mobile devices. We imported the model into our application using the tf.loadGraphModel function provided by TensorFlow.js, along with the bundleResourceIO and require functions to load the model files stored locally within our application.

const loadModel = async () => {
    try {
        const model = await tf.loadGraphModel(
            bundleResourceIO(require("../model/model.json"), [
                // Additional model shard imports omitted for brevity
        setModelLoaded(true); // Set modelLoaded to true once the model is loaded
        console.log("Model loaded successfully");
    } catch (e) {
        console.error("Error loading model:", e);
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The Interactive Leaderboard: Building Community and Driving Impact

In addition to its AI-powered features, Recycling Companion incorporates a dynamic leaderboard system designed to foster community engagement and drive collective action. The interactive leaderboard serves as a hub for users to track their recycling progress, compete with peers, and celebrate their contributions to a cleaner, greener planet.

Key Features of the Leaderboard

  1. Personalized Profiles: Each user has a dedicated profile on the leaderboard, showcasing their recycling achievements, points earned, and current ranking. This personalized dashboard offers users a glimpse into their individual impact on the environment and motivates them to continue their sustainability journey.

  2. Real-Time Rankings: The leaderboard provides real-time updates on user rankings, ensuring transparency and encouraging friendly competition. Users can see where they stand relative to others in their community, inspiring them to recycle more and climb the ranks.

  3. Social Sharing: With built-in social sharing functionality, users can easily share their leaderboard achievements and progress with friends and family on social media platforms. This feature amplifies users' impact by spreading awareness and inspiring others to join the recycling movement.

  4. Community Challenges: Recycling Companion hosts periodic community challenges and events that encourage collaboration and teamwork among users. From neighbourhood clean-up initiatives to recycling marathons, these challenges unite users around common goals and highlight the collective impact of their actions.

Libraries and Technologies Behind the Scenes

Powering Recycling Companion's advanced features are several key libraries and technologies:

  • React Native: Provides the foundation for building a cross-platform mobile application with a native user experience.
  • Expo: Simplifies the development process by offering access to device features and streamlined deployment options.
  • TensorFlow.js: Enables the integration of machine learning models directly into the application for real-time image recognition.
  • Firebase: Handles user authentication, data storage, and real-time updates, facilitating seamless user experiences across devices.
  • react-native-camera: Grants access to the device's camera functionality, essential for capturing images for waste identification.
  • @react-native-async-storage/async-storage: Facilitates secure and efficient data storage on the user's device, ensuring a seamless user experience.


Conclusion: Toward a Greener Future

Recycling Companion represents more than just a mobile application; it embodies a vision for a cleaner, more sustainable future. By leveraging the power of technology to simplify recycling and promote environmentally responsible behaviour, Recycling Companion empowers individuals to make a tangible difference in their communities and beyond.

With its intuitive interface, robust features, and commitment to user engagement, Recycling Companion is poised to become an indispensable tool for anyone seeking to reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to a healthier planet.

Note: Click Here for Complete Code

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Imran Khan