Colorado Teen Innovates AI Tool to Boost Recycling Efficiency
All Articles

Colorado Teen Innovates AI Tool to Boost Recycling Efficiency

Aryan Tuteja
Age 15
Discovery Canyon Campus High School
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Aryan Tuteja is a sophomore at Discovery Canyon Campus High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At just 15 years old, Aryan is already making waves in the world of environmental innovation with his Climate Leaders Fellowship projects. With a passion for computer programming, learning new skills, and swimming, Aryan embarked on a journey to tackle a pressing challenge: recycling efficiency.

Planning the Recycling Efficiency Project: The Origins of EcoIdentify

Aryan’s project, EcoIdentify, was born out of extensive research into the alarming statistics surrounding plastic recycling. Shocked by the fact that less than 9% of recyclable plastic is actually recycled, Aryan recognized the urgent need for a solution.

Delving deeper, he discovered that a significant barrier to recycling participation is the lack of clarity on what can be recycled. Aryan then set out to develop a software solution to bridge this gap.

Harnessing the Power of AI 

Inspired by the potential of artificial intelligence, Aryan conceived EcoIdentify as an AI-powered tool to transform recycling. Aryan’s online tool takes a photo of waste and works to identify it’s recycling category.

Through rigorous development and testing, he achieved remarkable results. EcoIdentify boasts an impressive accuracy rate of 99.87% over 250 training cycles, making it a highly reliable resource for users seeking guidance on recycling.

Impact and Outreach 

Upon launching EcoIdentify, Aryan witnessed its immediate impact, with over 200 daily visitors utilizing the platform to make informed recycling decisions. Aryan also extended his outreach efforts by establishing a non-profit organization, EcoClimSolutions, dedicated to promoting environmental solutions.

Through pursuing this project in the Climate Leaders Fellowship, Aryan gained valuable insights. “By working with Climate Leaders Fellowship, I was able to gain a sense of how to really engage the audience and amplify my project’s reach. I also learnt how to approach people regarding this project,” says Aryan.

Aryan Tuteja’s EcoIdentify project stands as a testament to the power of individual initiative and technological innovation in addressing global challenges. Through his collaboration with Climate Leaders and unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship, Aryan is paving the way for a greener, more sustainable world—one innovative solution at a time.

About Climate Leaders Fellowship

The Climate Leaders Fellowship program connects high school students worldwide to address climate change. Fellows develop impact projects dedicated to addressing local issues, such as increasing recycling efficiency. They do this all while learning from a global network of peers and advisors.

The Fellowship is provided by collaboration between the Stanford University Deliberative Democracy Lab, the Rustic Pathways Foundation and Rustic Pathways.

Read more inspiring projects of Climate Leader Fellows that have made tangible, significant impacts on their local communities. 

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone

Kayla joined Rustic Pathways in 2020 as the Director of Special Projects. She has nearly a decade of experience in communications and marketing. At Rustic Pathways, Kayla is dedicated to helping high school students discover their passion for exploring the world through summer travel programs. She drives impactful initiatives to empower students through meaningful travel experiences worldwide. Based in San Jose, California, Kayla loves the outdoors, live music and travel.