Moving day. The day you’ve been dreading all week and it’s finally nearing an end. You’ve emptied the house and you’ve packed everything into the moving truck. Well, almost everything. There’s still that old brown couch, TV and DVD player. You’ll probably just leave it all on the curb because you don’t have time to figure out where to recycle it all.
Well, there’s an app for that!
Recyclone.ca is a web-based app that helps citizens of the Capital Region District (CRD) to find information about recycling facilities in their vicinity and plan the shortest trip possible to drop off those items. The app provides a map and even an optimum driving route to optimize those trips. It’s in it’s early stages, so there are still some improvements being made, but there is no doubt this concept is something every CRD resident can get on board with.
“People tend to collect a lot of junk they don’t need mostly because they don’t know where to take those recyclable items,” commented Dan Bonab, creator of the app. “During moving time, some people leave tons of items on the curbside mainly because they don’t know where to take them. This creates a messy image of the city.”
HOW IT WORKS
Recyclone gives you four options:
- Find me a recyclist
This brings up a map of all the facilities in the area. When you click on one, you can view exactly which products that facility will accept.
- Browse facilities
This is an alphabetical list of every recycling facility in your area. When you click on one, it gives you the address and website.
- Browse products
This is an alphabetical list of the recyclable products listed on the app. If you don’t see your product on here, it most likely isn’t recyclable!
- Recycle all
This is by far the coolest feature. You can go through the list of recyclable products, highlight which ones you need to get rid of, and the app will generate a driving route with every facility you need to go to!
THE INSPIRATION AND CONSTRUCTION
“The whole idea of building Recyclone came out of a local meetup at Victoria GeoGeeks, when an attendee asked if anybody could print a map of recycling facilities around that specific neighbourhood,” commented Bonab. “He wanted to present the map to their condo Strata because some of the tenants kept leaving their junk in the parking lot. That sparked the idea of the app.”
Dan Bonab works under his startup company, Adaplex Solutions Inc. On top of building Recyclone, he also hosts and maintains it. He started the web-based app by acquiring baseline data from the CRD. He remodelled and geocoded some of the data so it could be displayed on a map. For the geocoding service he went to DataBC who had just launched a Physical Address Geocoder service, which was in very early stages but still more accurate and more comprehensive than Google’s geocoding service.
“Remodelling of the data was necessary mostly because chain store information is not available from the baseline data, and I needed to create some sort of hierarchy in the database to be able to support that,” commented Bonab. Bonab was able to add and correct data by visiting the websites of individual recycling facilities, inching Recyclone.ca that much closer towards a user friendly service.
“The good news is that all the data we’ve curated is available to other developers with some nicely designed REST APIs (Representational State Transfer Application Program Interfaces). So, if anyone is interested in accessing that data and want to build their own cool apps, please contact us.”
THE FUTURE OF RECYCLONE
Bonab would like to keep the app as up-to-date as possible. He’s looking forward to a strong partnership with the CRD to facilitate access to public recycling data.
“One of the features we have been asked to add is calculating the cost that recycling facilities may incur for their services and incorporating them into our optimum driving route algorithm. This way, the residents can get the best value for their gas money.”
In addition to this feature, Recyclone also plans on adding a list of recycling facilities that do pick-ups so you don’t have to drive anywhere.
A BIT ABOUT BONAB
Bonab has an Undergraduate Computer Science Degree and a Masters Degree in Complex Adaptive Systems from Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. He moved to Victoria in July, 2004 to pursue a tech career. With the help of the VIATEC Accelerator Program at Fort Tectoria, he has been provided with guidance and mentorship for his startup to launch an online marketplace platform for hosting and managing tournaments, called Tournamatic.com. We’ll have to discuss Tournamatic in an entirely separate B-Side post!
The Victoria technology community is a vibrant community and in addition to events happening around the city on any given day, there’s no limit on the amount of qualified mentors to help startups.
“I’d like to thank my mentors who have contributed to my success and have been inspirational. Greg Britton, now a director at BC Pension Corp., Robert Bennett and Erin Athene from the VIATEC Accelerator Program, Steven Myhill Jones and David Stevenson from Latitude Geographics, Adrian Pereira from ParetoLogic, Alan Heather from Trilennium and Mike Tan, Founder of TeamPages.”
Adaplex Solutions is on a mission to promote the sharing economy by creating products like Recyclone.ca and Tournamatic.com and we are looking forward to seeing them flourish.
Adaplex Solutions Inc. is currently located in Fort Tectoria at 777 Fort Street. If you’d like to submit any feedback you’re encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.