It Starts with a Square

CHS Students Develop Composting App

BY Regan Hewitt

Three Collierville High School students – Sruti Gandreti, Abhishek Menothu, and Brandon Gong – have developed a new app to help people identify compostable items. 

The app, called the Compost Recognition Image Software, or CRIS for short, uses Google Chrome AI to classify objects as compostable or not. All the user has to do is take a picture of the item and the app will turn back a “compost” verdict. The app also features articles written by these students about composting and other ecological topics.

“The students’ app is pretty impressive,” says Shelia Bentley of the Collierville Environmental Commission. “They created a mobile app that helps people identify items that can be composted, rather than disposing of the items in the landfill.”

The app was developed and submitted in the fall of 2019 to the Collierville Environmental Commission as part of their Collierville Forward initiative. Collierville Forward encouraged participants to create an environmentally friendly project, implement the project during the month of September, and submit an application that reports on the results of the project at the end of October. 

“I enjoy hands on activities and everything tech-related, especially with computer science. Sruti came to Brandon and me with the idea, so I thought ‘Why not?’ We took a couple of weeks to develop it, and it was really fun,” said junior Abhishek Menothu. 

Based on the students’ submission, the current global count for waste production is 1.3 billion tons per year. Hopefully, the app can help reduce that amount by keeping compostable items out of landfills and other trash dumping grounds. 

“The app is an ingenious idea and they also have great articles on the app about ecology and other environmental topics. It’s a very impressive piece of work,” said David Perry, Collierville Environmental Commission Chair. Perry presented the students with an Award of Excellence for their Collierville Forward project and recognized the students for their notable work with the project at the February 10, 2020 Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

“Being able to partner with Abhishek and Brandon on this app to promote environmental awareness and increase composting through a simple app is an honor, and it’s a pleasure to receive this award,” said Sruti Ganreti, who is also a junior.

The students have also submitted CRIS to the Congressional App Challenge, a national program that inspires students to code and engages Members of Congress in the process and with the students. See Sruti, Abhishek, and Brandon’s submission video and learn more about CRIS here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqM6plCLD_I.

Source: Town of Collierville 

May/June 2020 Tour Collierville Magazine