SCAD Human Factors class was prompted to create a design solution to a problem using IoT (The Internet of Things.)
Over a duration of 8-weeks, my teammates and I worked to solve for food waste. Food waste is an ever-increasing problem in the United States. Despite being a possible solution, composting is often underutilized.
How can composting be made more accessible and scaleable through IoT?
Meet the team
click their names to view their websites
Emma Waters : Strategy / Interface Design
Hugo Pereira : Research / Video Director / 3D Modeling
Kajal Boghara : Research / Visual Design
2019 Indigo Design Awards – Bronze in UX, Interface & Navigation Category
Food waste is an ever-increasing problem in the US.
Despite being a possible solution, composting is often underutilized.
How can composting be made more accessible and scalable through IoT?
The different methods of composting ...
Longer, some costs, low effort.
Most common. Longer, cheaper, medium effort, produces heat.
Fastest but greatest cost and upkeep produces little heat.
What services are out there now...
The D.C. area’s “Compost Cab” will drive to your house and collect your compostable organic waste – for $32 per month. Included in that price are the start-up costs. The company gives new customers a composting kit that includes a collection bin, a compostable liner, and a composting guide. Twice a year, customers get a share of the soil created from all that waste.
New York City
NYC has the biggest organic collection program in US: Biggest challenges have been repurposing collection routes, finding space both far and close enough to the cities for the composting facilities, businesses willing to invest in composting facilities without assured stream of organic material, most expensive part of the program is collection; resident participation is key to reducing costs
In 2009, an ordinance made it mandatory for SF residents to sort organics. Instead of two bins to set out on the curb for trash and recyclables, there are now three. The green compost bins can include a wide variety from spoiled foods to waxy paper products. Now SF manages to use 78% of its waste elsewhere other than sending to landfills. The composting facilities produce fertilizers that are sold to farms, tree nurseries, and to the general public.
How might we...
incentivize, simplify, and educate individuals on composting by harnessing the power of IoT technology?
We designed for...
Doesn’t have time or space for composting, but has a general interest in making the world a better place.
Would like to use the benefits of composting, but is limited by space.
Has the means to compost, but not enough scraps to turn into to compost whether done by a composting facility or an individual.
Would like to help feed people who are starving in the community but has a hard time gathering enough food.
Our purpose is to utilize the power of connection to work together to solve a problem we face daily, food waste.
We connect the average food consumer to those with the recourses to compost, to the shelter in need, the community garden which lacks the space and resources to compost, or maybe the gardening mom looking for some extra nutritious growth… In return, the average consumer can now earn a profit, gain some insight, and spark positive change.
Wireframes (click to see image)
ReScrap is a platform that connects and enhances existing services of collection, donation, composting, and energy generation by using the Internet of Things to maximize the efficiency and ROI (Return on Investment) of the composting process and empowering users so that they can be more proactive and ultimately reduce their wasteful habits.
Smart Bin Adapter
The smart bin adapter has a hook (A) that allows users to weigh their scraps so that it could be sold to a composting partner for a profit based on the weight of it. This makes it easier to figure out costs. The sensor also has an image recognition camera (B) to check to see if their food could be donated before it goes into the scrap bin. The bendable suction band (C) allows for the sensor to fit around any type of bin surface which makes it adaptable. Lastly, it has a screen (D) to give feedback to the users.
The compost sensors allow users to keep track of their scraps during the composting process. It has a LED indicator (A) to maintain the correct levels during the composting process. There is also a status screen (B) to see the different stages of the process. In order for the sensor to connect to the app we put in a bluetooth sensor (C) to show the data in the app. To help the sensor get the best readings we created an extension rod (D) that lets the sensor stand in the middle of the compost. Lastly, at the bottom is all the different sensors needed for the composting process like a thermal, humidity, and chemical (O2, NPK) sensor (E).
Smart Vehicle Sensor
The smart vehicle sensor has GPS tracking to let users know where the vehicle is. It also has a weight sensor to let the buyer know how much to. expect when scraps are being delivered.
We created a seamless experience that lets users sell their composting scraps to people who have the means to compost. The sensor weighs the scraps to see how much it costs then pairs you with a buyer that wants your scraps. As users sell their scraps the home page shows a progression of the impact they are making by selling their scraps.
ReSrcap gives buyers an easier way to find people selling their scraps. It gives them information about the density, ph levels, and the cost of their scraps. To show the buyer their impact the home page show their progress of all of their purchases.
ReScrap's smart bin adpater uses it image recognition camera to check to see if the food is apparently wholesome. If so it gives users the ability to donate their scraps a shelters or other organizations that need food to feed their people.