Through the use of the Home Trash Audit software […], students can monitor how much and what types of waste they are throwing out/recycling

Source: “About” web page from Brandywine Garbology program / Image: allispossible.org.uk CC BY 2.0

Useful information

Download: Android 4.0.3 (2.34MB. Beta version) / executable file

Price: free

Language: English

Runs offline: yes

Last update: Android 14/04/2017 (v. 1.0)

Website of the developer: John D. Miller

Description

Home Trash Audit is a simple app for Android devices which has as objective to show the user how much and type of organic and inorganic waste produced each day.

Being in beta version, that is, that it is operative, but is still in development, it can experience malfunctions, as in fact has happened in the tests carried out during the writing of this article, being this the reason why a demo video of the application has not been included.

The application includes three main options:

  • New audit, section that shows the different waste types that are generated (in number of elements). This waste classification is carried out using the Pick waste option. In this new screen the different materials (plastic, paper, metal, glass or organic waste) are selected, indicating their number. When the form is filled out, the different types of refuse are added to the current audit using the Add to audit button.
  • View journal, option that allows you to view, in a summarized way, the classification of the waste, distinguishing the type of material, the number and the percentage it represents on the total.
  • View totals, which allows to see the amount of organic and inorganic waste produced graphically.

More information

Brandywine Garbology

Instructor and student collaborate to create a garbage-tracking app

Images: screenshots 11/04/2017. Screenshot of Totals section taken from the web https://www.johnmillercoding.com/#gallery. ©John D. Miller

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Analysis

Home Trash Audit is an example about how the development of this type of tools can also arise in the framework of an educational experience. In the present case, this application is the result of a reading program that emerged at Brandywine campus of Pennsylvania State University. Within reading materials, one of the selected books was Garbology, by Edward Humes, which analyzes waste production in U.S. One of the conclusions drawn by participants in the program is that most Americans do not know how much waste is produced each year, a fact that, without a doubt, it can be extended to other countries. The analyzed application tries to alleviate this lack of knowledge by means of a tool that allows to visualize the amount of organic and inorganic waste that is generated in the day to day as a way to make the users aware about the necessity of a more responsible consumption.

Taking into account its development phase, the application may be subject to changes that improve its functionality. In this sense, it would be interesting to better define what types of materials are recyclable and which are not. Thus, to the informative nature of the app could be added a didactic aspect. Also, the introduction of gamification techniques through which to establish comparisons of waste generation among different users could improve the experience in handling the app.

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Técnico de medio ambiente, community manager y content curator especializada en temas de medioambiente - Environmental technician, community manager and content curator specialised in environmental issues