Developing a Visualization System for Supporting and Increasing Recycling Around Arizona



Ryan Demboski

Role(s): Team Lead,
Full-Stack Dev, GIS Dev


Justin Eggan

Role(s): GIS Dev


Jack Gilliam

Role(s): Frontend Dev


Vahid Fard

Role(s): Team Mentor

Project Description:

Our project aims to help make the state of Arizona a more recycling-intensive state. Arizona currently ranks 33rd out of the 50 states for waste management, and this project seeks to help with this problem. The goal of the project is to create a webpage that allows data from the Arizona Recycling Potential (ARP) team to help visualize where recycling needs are being met in the state of Arizona, and where they are falling short.

This project, as such, is a collaborative effort between GreenAZ and the ARP team. The ARP team began Phase 1 of the project (conducting research and getting preliminary data) last year, and has been approved by the Arizona Board of Regents to be used in a greater project to reduce Ozone and Recycling waste in Arizona. The initial concept for this project was provided by our sponsor, in the form of a Capstone Project Proposal.

We have developed a visualization system for the data collected during the project's initial phase, and it will help visualize the complex spreadsheets of data from the ARP model.

Click on the button below to check out the website for yourself!

Richard Rushforth is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University. His research focuses on big data modeling of food, energy, and water systems to further the understanding of complex, coupled natural-human systems. His PhD is in Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering from Arizona State University. He also holds degrees from the University of Oxford (M.Sc. Waster Science, Policy, and Management) and the University of Arizona (M.S., Soil, Water, and Environmental Science; B.S., Environmental Science) as well as an M.B.A. from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The project is also being sponsored by the Arizona Recycling Potential (ARP) team. This team is a collaborative effort between Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University.

High Level Requirements:

The high-level requirements that we settled upon before developing this project were as follows;

Our Solution:

We have developed a full-stack application that details recycling options for municipalities in Arizona by providing interactive GIS maps and various kinds of graphs with default data sources as well as allowing the user to upload their own data.


Stakeholders will use the visualization system to coalesce a network of state, county, and community economic development organizations to co-develop and identify hotspot markets to attract recyclable materials and businesses to Arizona. We can do this by waste material streams, industries, and local/regional needs.

The needs for each municipality are different. To allow this a successful product, we have made sure it's easy to understand the pros and cons of different approaches for each municipality. The application will make it easy to visualize the best solution for implementing a better circular economy for each location.

For GreenAZ specifically, our Minimum Viable Product for this solution was successfully completed in Spring 2023. We built interactive panes in the application to graph data; a simple map and standard chart templates, such as pie, stacked area, line graphs, and more. After approval by the ARP Project Team, continuation of our alpha version of the visualization system will be slated for further development during subsequent years of the project. GreenAZ discovered the requirements and built a solid foundation to build upon in the future.


MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node - The MEAN stack is our project architecture

QGIS, Leaflet, Chart.js - These served as our visualization frameworks

Podman - A derivative of Docker that we used for deployment



GreenAZ Team Video (Pre-development version)

Software Design Document

Requirements Document

Technological Feasibility

Team Standards

Team Inventory

GIS Map Tech Demo

Charts/Graphs Tech Demo

Design Review 2 (v1)