Electronic Waste Educational and Information System

Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $6,500

Letter of Intent:

Hi, my name is William Zhou, I’m currently a junior at the University of Washington, and I’ve been working on an environmentally friendly, consumer-facing, software start up. Our start up consists of two additional students, a Math/EE major at UW and a Computer Science/Biology major at the University of Chicago.  Over the past few months we’ve developed a software called the EcoTab, an iOS software specialized for the iPad. Our product is essentially an educational tablet software designed to be mounted in front of waste containers. It tells a customer what is and isn't recyclable, compostable, or goes into the garbage based on what the venue or enterprise sells and provides. After a customer successfully navigates through the software, at the end it provides feedback on what their waste savings are based on their contribution (CO2, Energy and Space saved). We work personally with each client to index and determine where every item they provide belongs in the waste stream and weigh the items to determine what the environmental savings of properly disposing it are. 

  1. We feel that the key to success is providing educational knowledge to students and consumers on how to properly dispose of their waste. After discussing with UW Recycling and CSF memebers we feel as of currently, those needs are not being met, especially in regards to efforts of educating transplants and the educational community.
  2. This project is currently spearheaded by another student and me. We have done all the business development and created all of the software from scratch. We will continue to develop our relationship with HFS in order to bring this tool to the dorms, cafes, and restaurants on campus.
  3. Through using our software, we can empower students with the proper resources to accurately reduce our campus waste output and push towards a more sustainable waste quota.
  4. Currently working with HFS, we are approved to put our software up in several on campus facilities, including but not limited to McMahon 8, LocalPoint, Mercer Café, Start Up Hall, and the HUB. Our goal is to get out this pilot to see if students effectively engage with our waste information system.

Our cost breakdown:
6 x iPad Air 2: 6 * $550 = $3300
6 x iPad Kiosks: 6 * $330 = $1980
Estimated Installation costs: $500
Server costs and maintenance: $720

We are currently shooting for a one month pilot. If the pilot succeeds and aligns with HFS’ vision we will apply for a second round of hardware. HFS will then pick up the future server and maintenance costs. There is a lot of wiggle room and room for discussion regarding this letter of intent, so I look forward to discussing details moving forward.

Primary Contact First & Last Name: William Zhou