This summer, Victoria “Tori” Hagenlocker ’22 was awarded the Technovation Technology Award in the Senior Division for her app “RecycleRight.” Technovation is an international app/entrepreneurship competition. This year there were more than 5,400+ competitors from 60+ countries. Tori’s app submission made it through the first several rounds, and she was selected as one of five finalists. As a finalist, she had the amazing opportunity to pitch RecycleRight in front of industry professionals, and represent the United States at the Technovation World Summit.
“I am passionate about environmental preservation and see it as one of the most pressing problems facing my generation. By applying computer science and new technologies, I wanted to educate others and foster responsible and eco-friendly behaviors to improve the effectiveness of community recycling programs and to reduce the impact of waste on our environment.”
RecycleRight is an iOS application that serves to address the issue of waste contamination by facilitating and simplifying the recycling process for users who would like to help the environment by recycling, but either find the process to be too difficult, or do not know the proper regulations for recycling in their area. The app is designed to help individuals make accurate decisions at the time they are recycling or discarding an item.
Features of the app include a home page with general categories of waste and detailed information regarding what can or can’t be recycled. Additionally, in light of the recent COVID-19 epidemic, there is an option to view how to properly dispose of contaminated personal protective equipment. For items that may need to be recycled or thrown away in specific disposal centers, such as e-waste, there is a map that gives the name and address of the closest recycling centers in the area. The app allows people to scan a special sticker that Tori created to place on recycling bins around the community, which detail bin location specific information via Augmented Reality technology. This AR animation displays to users what distinct recyclables the scanned bin accepts in an innovative and engaging way. Additionally, the app includes a scanner, which implements a specifically trained machine learning model to detect the object in question in real time, and proceeds to recognize and inform the user regarding whether or not it is recyclable.
In the future, Tori plans on adding more location models within the app to reach a wider audience, include information on composting, and partner with local officials in her community to provide people greater access to this technology and expand the RecycleRight movement. By maximizing the resources available to individuals at the time they are making recycling decisions, RecycleRight can provide meaningful, just in time education, increase the effectiveness of community recycling programs, and better inform individuals on the items they purchase and consume.
Tori is a proud student-athlete, playing on both the Upper School Varsity Golf and Tennis teams. At Gulliver Prep, Tori is involved in several STEM programs and clubs, including engineering, robotics, and computer science. To learn more about RecycleRight and Tori’s efforts, visit www.recyclerightapp.com and follow her on twitter @recyclerightapp!