Awards & Nominations

Los Titans has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Global Nominee

The Challenge | Looking GLOBE-ally

Analyze and/or display data to communicate interesting findings or improve public understanding of our home planet.

Waste Heroes mobile game

WasteHeroes is a social game app designed to encourage recycling through competition with other users

Los Titans


According to recent studies, the Earth seems to be running out of time. Something has to be done right away.

We believe that any little effort helps and we found a solution to improve people’s understanding of the impact of recycling and to motivate them to do it more.

But there are challenges...

In less developed countries, recycling was never a priority, so there is definitely a lack of education and information on the subject. Also, most people would admit they would recycle more if it were easier, so there’s a lack of motivation.

However, it has been proved that competition motivates people to make an effort, even if it’s just to rank higher.

WasteHeroes - the fun and easy way to recycle more

Our mobile game app informs the users about the recyclable materials and recycling points nearby and it motivates them to be proactive by taking advantage of their competitive spirit and the social nature of the app. The result is a better understanding of our planet’s needs and continuously reducing the amount of solid waste going into the landfill.


Image recognition of objects

To begin with, you might want to know if and where you can recycle a certain object. We use Microsoft image processing technology in combination with COCO to detect a recyclable object and map it with the information stored in our database. COCO is a large-scale object detection, segmentation, and captioning dataset. It has several features, such as Object segmentation or Recognition in context. Azure Cognitive Services are APIs, SDKs, and services available to help developers build intelligent applications without having direct AI or data science skills or knowledge.

Directions to closest recycling point

Once you confirm the object you want to recycle was detected correctly, the app directs you to the closest recycling centre to your location and provides useful information such as address, opening times and types of materials it accepts. It also tells you how many points you can earn and which achievements you could obtain.

QR Code and points

So how do you get the points? The participating recycling centres receive a basic software which generates a QR code containing information about received products. Depending on the centre, the code is either printed on the receipt, sent to you by e-mail or displayed on a screen. NFC technology can also be used to transmit this information. At the centre, you can scan the QR code in the app and you see how many points you got for what you recycled.


You can then check how you rank among your friends, people in your country or the whole world. Monthly and "All time" rankings are available.

The Bin

You'd like to rank better, right? You can do this easily by simply recycling more. Alternatively, you can explore "The Bin", our database of information about both common and rare materials. More points are given for materials in high demand, such as electronics (for the rare earths contained), so go take advantage of these opportunities! And don't forget to check out the random facts about the products, it's always fun to learn new interesting things.


The nature of WasteHeroes, just as the importance of recycling, is global. And the sky is not the limit!

With your support, here are some things we see for the future:

  • The educational features are available to users all over the world and the database of information gets updated as technology evolves
  • The number of participating recycling centres increases continuously, as more clients are attracted to their business. Recycling "taxi services" are also added as a feature in the app, as we partner up with companies providing such services on a large scale
  • We're present at local and international environmental programs through collaborations with NGOs
  • WasteHeroes recycling stations with extra points are found at all major events, such as music festivals, sports competitions
  • Sponsors offer prizes for users with top scores

Before we know it, every one of us knows and does a little bit more for the world around us.


Now the nerdy part. The application is divided into 4 main layers depending on their scope and technology needed.

The data is stored in PostgreSQL and then replicated in Elastic Search for an efficient searching.

The server layer is based on Java technologies and different helpful frameworks. Java offers several features that make the language well suited for use on server side.

In order to access the server methods, we use Swagger is a set of rules for a format describing REST APIs. Spring makes use of Inversion of Control and Dependency Injection to promote good software coding practices and speed up development time. To map the data from the data base we use Hibernate which generates object-oriented domain model to a relational database.

Maven addresses two aspects of building software: first, it describes how software is built, and second, it describes its dependencies.

The client part is designed for both Android and iOS. We use Swift which is a general-purpose, multi-paradigm, compiled programming language developed by Apple Inc. for iOS in combination with Realm database which is an easy to use and open source alternative to SQLite and Core Data. Android works best in combination with SQLite as a local database.

Google maps platform is used for geocoding. Geocoding is the process of converting addresses into geographic coordinates, which can be used to place markers or position the map.

The app will be available for free in App Store and Google Play.

Team "Los Titans" thanks you for your attention!

Here are some resources we’ve used while developing the WasteHeroes concept:


SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.