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  • IUPUI Recycling Project
    Re-framing the recycling experience to improve the culture
    of sustainability on campus and beyond.
  • Designing for Social and
    Environmental Change
    Client: Indiana University/Purdue University

    Our team approached this project with the main goal of redesigning the current bins to support the change from a multi-stream system to a single-stream system and to make it more convenient for people to recycle than to use the trash bins.

    The existing recycling bins disappeared into the background so we proposed placing bins in high traffic areas and designed them vertically to provide a large area for our newly designed graphics, making them visible from far away. It was important that they still fit in with the existing architecture, so we used similar forms and materials to that which are already present in the surrounding architecture.

    We created the slogan, “One Bin, All In” to be etched on to all bins to communicate the change to the new system and also designed a campaign to get student’s attention and make recycling a bit more personal.

    Our final solution includes redesigned interior bins, updated graphics and campaign for interior and exterior bins, a proposal for an exterior roll-off with drive-up capabilities, and a central interior recycling center which provides education, information and opportunities for incentives and other programming activities and promotions.

    Project Outline

    Existing System Audit
    Community Partner Interviews
    Ethnographic/User Research Studies

    Identifying System Needs
    Analyzing Research Data

    Bin Design (form)
    Visual/Verbal Messaging
    Sustainablity Center/Roll-Off Designs

    Scale Model Build/Test
    User Response/Feedback

    Design Document
    Final Design Drawings
    Final Community Partner Presentation

    Personal Roles

    Project Manager/Strategist
    Research Tool Developer
    Meeting Facilitator
    Production Artist/Illustrator

    Rebecca Gleason
    Kenneth Greene
    Lindsay Callahan

  • Existing bins were designed for multi-stream recycling. These shown here are only one of several bin designs across campus, creating inconsistency and confusion.
  • Facilitating an early meeting to map out system needs.
  • My sketches of a couple bin designs we eventually proposed.
  • An early bin prototype drawing I created. This bin design eventually lost out to a simpler design.
  • Our chosen bin design and approximate measurements.
  • Some of the details of our chosen bin design, along with a few construction options, refined by further proptotyping. Graphics panels sit on top of the bin. In the case that they cannot be used, a cap can be placed on top. An access door on the side allows for easy emptying and locking casters make it easier to move.
  • The final bin design and graphics created as part of the accompanying awareness campaign.
  • We have also designed docking "stations" for classroom and office slim jims.
  • As a part of the overall system, we designed these graphics to be applied (sprayed on to) existing trash cans. This is intended to prompt users to consider the destination of trash waste.
  • This is our first built prototype of the new bin design in context. Following prototypes will look more like my design drawings shown above, with the metal edges flush and the opening areas curved. Here, the bin is shown against a wall with the graphics panels attached. It can also be placed in the center of a hallway, leaving all four openings accessible to users. Or, it can be placed in a corner, where two openings (and two panels) are visible.
  • The bin is shown here without the graphics panels. A temporary lid is placed on top to close the opening.