The city has placed QR codes on 5,000 public waste collection bins for residents to scan and report full, damaged or overflowing bins. The scan sends an alert to waste management companies.
“But people aren’t scanning the codes, and management isn’t being notified. The result is excess trash in the city streets,” Gibbs explained.
The team’s automated, cost-efficient device is a sensor placed in bins that monitors the level of trash within and alerts management of the locations of the bins that need to be emptied, optimizing collection routes.
“The sensors are solar powered; otherwise they can run for 72 hours off the battery. The cost to produce the sensor was $47, and if this project were to go into production, that cost would fall dramatically,” Gibbs explained.
Overcoming the rift between science and religion
Olson, a senior in food science and technology, presented her research on “Leonardo Da Vinci: The Rift Between Science and Religion.” Olson believes that in today's society, there are many rifts in the scientific realm.
“I think that some science is becoming what the people want to hear due to politics and social media. This is much like the religious rift Da Vinci dealt with,” she said. “The only real difference is instead of being told the wrong answers, we purposely frame an answer or conduct studies we know will give particular answers. This issue arises with funding for projects by investors looking for a specific outcome or commercials that attach phrases like ‘scientifically proven’ to a product.”