Created on 29 Oct 2018

Recycling made easy, one toss at a time

Confused about your trash? Fear no more! We will build a transparent automatic trash and recyclables sorting bin. The purpose of this project is to create a "smart" trash can that is able to sort trash into 3 different categories: general trash, recyclable, and compostable. Many recyclable materials end up in the wrong place because people do not have time or do not care to read the labels on trash cans, resulting in an efficient waste of material. The most crucial part of the project is using machine learning to recognize different types of trash and place them in the correct categories. This was mainly facilitated by a Raspberry Pi, Python code, and the Google Cloud Vision API. The servo motors which orient the plates are controlled by GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. See [link]( for diagrams and meeting minutes prior to and during Build week.


Sharon Chu


Yuqi Zhou


Halanna Yuh


Eleanor Pena

Part Cost Quantity Total
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (B Plus) Starter Kit $79.99 1 $79.99
A Raspberry Pi will be programmed for image recognition.
12" inch Wooden Circle Cutouts - Pack of 3 - By Woodpeckers $13.99 1 $13.99
This will be the plate that carries trash to their designated bins.
24’’x48’’ 1/8'' thick, ClearAdir Office Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet $49.95 1 $49.95
For the top panel of the trash sorting bin.
Scotch Electrical Tape, 3/4-Inch by 66-Foot $3.99 1 $3.99
To keep stuff from falling apart.
Medium Density Fiberboard Sheets 24" × 36" x 3/8" $14.43 3 $43.29
Wooden MDF sheets to make wall panels for front of the trash sorter
Disposable Cardboard Container for Waste, 5 Gallon Capacity $3.65 3 $10.95
Foldable cardboard trash bins
DF05BB Tilt/Pan Kit (5kg) $29.92 1 $29.92
Mechanisms that turn and tilt the plate
Panel Mount 10K potentiometer (Breadboard Friendly) - 10K Linear $0.95 1 $0.95
Controls voltage supplied from the arduino
Raspberry Pi Camera Board v2 - 8 Megapixels $29.95 1 $29.95
Camera for recognition
Clear Enclosure for Arduino or Metro $4.95 1 $4.95
To prevent arduino from harm.
We will use this with the arduino IDE to make our trash grabber move.
Project Totals: 15 $297.88
Track 1 Base Budget: $250.00
Preferred Vendor Budget Bonus: $0.00
Remaining Budget: $-47.88
Sharon Chu 18 Jan 2019, 10:36 p.m. EST
It was a fresh and exciting way to start our semester. As we move on to complete all the homework we have put off, we'd like to give a big thanks to our friends, senpais, Build18 officers and all the sponsors. We couldn't have done it without you!
Sharon Chu 18 Jan 2019, 10:27 p.m. EST
Demo day was FUN! In the end deJunk could only separate trash into two categories due to difficulties controlling voltage output from the rpi. The change in voltage was what decided which way our sorter plate would tilt, but we only managed to have the rpi output two voltages, meaning our plate could only fix itself at two positions (upright or tilting). We therefore decided to do recyclables and landfill only, as opposed to our initial plan that considered compostables. Although the project did not come out as intended, it gave us valuable experience with mechatronics.
Sharon Chu 17 Jan 2019, 11:17 p.m. EST
Got img recognition working. Kudos to Halanna Yuh! Now working on controlling the arduino via rpi.
Sharon Chu 16 Jan 2019, 10:36 p.m. EST
Building in progress! Assembled majority of trash bin. Trying to debug our image recognition program and our pan tilt kit.