Recyycle is a crowdsourcing web application that enables users to share what and where to recycle in their location.


Have you ever walked up to a series of recycling bins and ended up standing there for five minutes confused about which bin your items should go in or if the item is even recyclable? Believe it or not, confusion about recycling is common in the U.S. The lack of country-wide recycling standards means that it's up to local communities to decide on how to run their own recycling programs. Often the burden is placed on individuals to build the knowledge and self-efficacy to recycle correctly. 

User Pain Points

People who want to recycle are concerned about what materials can be recycled and where to recycle. Finding information online about recycling often means searching on multiple websites and navigating city or municipal sites. These sites are clunky, outdated, and don’t always offer clear answers about what can be recycled. According to a 2019 survey, 62% of respondents in the U.S. worry that lack of knowledge causes them to recycle incorrectly (Waste 360). When items that are not recyclable are sent to a recycling facility, those materials contaminate items that could otherwise be recycled into new products. Contaminated recyclables ultimately end up in a landfill or burned. It’s important to address concerns about waste by making information about recycling accessible so that people are empowered to recycle correctly.  


Our preliminary user research which explored recycling behaviors and motivations revealed that not knowing what can be recycled in a given city is a major barrier to recycling with confidence.  

Landing on a Solution

The goal for this product is to enable users to access and share geographically targeted recycling information. We hypothesize that individuals knowledgeable about recycling rules in their area are more likely to share that knowledge with others. Our product will allow individuals to not only share local knowledge about recycling, but also help others learn how to recycle, thus building confidence to recycle effectively.

Early Prototypes

The Solution

Recyycle is a crowdsourcing web application that allows users to share local recycling information. We help individuals find answers about where and what to recycle. With Recyycle, users will spend less time searching for local information and build confidence to recycle with ease.

Want to try it but don't want to create an account?

Login in with:

username -

password - recyycle 

Recyycle has two key features:

Location Based Search 

Adding Facility Information

We’ve received promising user feedback showing that Recyycle is useful. Our users even offered great suggestions on what they would like to see Recyycle do in the future. Users described Recyycle as clean and straightforward. 

We are still figuring out our next steps as a team but our Product Manager, Amanda, hopes to continue this product as she sees the importance in empowering individuals to share their recycling knowledge with others.


We want to acknowledge Leonardo for jumping in and developing Recyycle. We also want to acknowledge Dhruvil Patel for his efforts and in helping with the product conceptualization process.


Product Manager Learnings:

Amanda Araiza

  • When under pressure to deliver, I learned how to pivot to help ensure the success of the team and product
  • I learned how to run user interviews and usability tests alongside my designer
  • I learned the importance of prioritizing our team’s work and learning how to make tradeoffs

Designer Learnings:

Maribel Sierra

  • I learned you can achieve a lot by setting realistic goals towards designing an MVP in collaboration with my team 
  • I learned to lean on my ability to be flexible and adapt my designs to changing needs as our team uncovered user feedback 
  • I have a better understanding of how my work as a designer can harmonize with developer and PM goals

Developer Learnings:

Leonardo Avelino

Developers Learnings:


Full Team Learning

As a team, we learned to be flexible, to respect working on a team you are less familiar with, and appreciate working to solve a service design problem space