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A Call for Code global finalist from India makes responsible disposal and recycling of e-waste a reality

Project Scavenger is the 2nd runner up in the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge and will receive USD $25K.

Once an anomaly, working remotely has become a common practice for many employees over the course of the past 20 months — and it shows no sign of receding. Gartner estimates that remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021. While there are wide-ranging opinions surrounding the work-from-home dynamic, one objective truth is that there has been a massive increase in home office set-ups, and demand for home office devices like keyboards, mice, CPUs and more. Manufacturers are trying to keep up with this rapid increase in demand. Combine those new devices with the thousands still residing in now abandoned on-site offices, and the result is an alarming amount of e-waste.

While adjusting to our “new normal” can be taxing for people, our environment is suffering the brunt of this adjustment as e-waste continues to compound. This form of pollution also poses a threat to populations in areas like India where e-waste is particularly prominent.

This is where Project Scavenger, a 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge Finalist solution, comes in to help the cause. The solution enables individuals to responsibly offload their devices, limiting the amount of harmful e-waste that can circulate. Built by a team of inspired problem solvers based in India, Project Scavenger is an app powered by Node.js, Bootstrap, Node Red and other tools and also includes a chatbot powered by IBM Watson Assistant. The app’s intuitive interface allows a user to select the type of device they are electing to get rid of, and recommends ways of doing so safely. For example, users might be connected with other individuals on the app who will take the item. In the near future, the team hopes to add a feature to also help locate smart bin collection hubs for device drop off.

The technologies behind the app allow for a robust solution that is both accurate and scalable. IBM Cloud Foundry allows the app to swiftly run and scale as the user base increases, IBM Cloud Functions ensures quick execution and response times to in-app events, and IBM Cloudant helps manage large workloads. The solution offers a way to judiciously manage e-waste for small entities and large corporations alike.

The Project Scavenger team hopes to mitigate the impacts of global pollution through this app as e-waste becomes a growing problem worldwide. It’s critical that there is a solution in place to combat this global issue — and Project Scavenger is leading the charge.

Attend the Call for Code Awards to find out who will win the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge.