For the last two years in our final year undergraduate course of digital innovation management, I have asked my students to put their creativities to the test by proposing digital solutions for improving recycling in student residences or households where they live.
Recycling is a pressing and important issue for both our university and society, and tackling it could also help students to better understand the complex issues and possibilities surrounding it. As a lecturer, I have seen very innovative solutions. This year of 2019-2020 we ran a competition to select the best three student recycling assignments. We had the enthusiastic participation of Will Lindsay (Royal Holloway Estates Manager), James Luckett from Grundon and Dr Sigrun Wagner from our School of Business and Management in the judging panel. The winning idea was called “Litterlock” by our student Nishka. Litterlock is a device that will intelligently assess a student’s recycling.
As written by Nishka:
“LitterLock will operate in a hybrid digital market, as it consists of a physical device which will be installed on plastic recycling receptacles, as well as a supporting technology of a mobile app. The device will have a locking mechanism which will only allow plastic materials that are recyclable into the receptacle. Users will log into their profile on the LitterLock device using the biometric fingerprint scanner and will then scan the barcode of each item. As users scan their items, the LitterLock device will notify them of whether the item is recyclable, and if this is the case, the mechanism will unlock the bin, allowing users to dispose of their plastic waste. This device will meet the needs identified of both users and the waste management industry because it will help students to recycle correctly whilst simultaneously reducing contamination”.
Congratulations to Nishka, and also to Rahmeen Imran (2nd Prize for the “GoGreen Glass” idea to recycle glass bottles) and Hannah Omari (3rd prize for the “Refill” idea to encourage water bottles reuse and responsible water consumption).