Hackaday Awards 2022: BinPal is a practical recycling reminder


While curbside recyclables pickup is convenient, it requires you to know what type of waste is picked up when: miss the bi-weekly paper pickup and you’ll soon find yourself storing four weeks worth of boxes and newspapers . When [Dominic Buchstaller]As the pile of boxes began to reach his ceiling, he decided to take action by building BinPal himself: a fridge magnet that helps you remember when to take out which bin.

At the heart of the simple yet effective BinPal is an ESP32 board that connects to Google Apps Script and retrieves the pickup schedule from Google Calendar. If one of the four categories of waste needs to be picked up, its icon is highlighted on an LCD screen. The user can press a touch button to confirm that the bin has been pulled out for collection; if this has not been done by 8 p.m., the display backlight will start flashing as an additional reminder.

The outer shell of the device is made of laser-cut plywood, with some strong magnets glued inside to ensure the BinPal stays firmly attached to the fridge. In the true spirit of recycling, [Dominic] only used components he had in his parts bin to make the BinPal. However, these parts are all readily available online, and with the full schematics and code available on the project’s Hackaday.io page, it should be easy to adapt the design to different hardware platforms as well.

[Dominic]The design of was inspired by a flashing LED chore reminder that we introduced a few years ago. You can also create chore reminders by reusing a Kindle for its ePaper display.


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