Students’ rubbish ideas to help Bristol Waste box clever over waste and recycling

March 15, 2019

Bristol Waste, the firm that handles domestic waste collection and recycling across the city, has worked with a group of design students to develop innovative answers to common problems linked to wheelie bins and recycling boxes.

The second and third-year design students from Bath Spa University’s Bath School of Art and Design were tasked by the firm with designing new ways of storing waste or recycling that would tackle the issue of bins and boxes permanently on the street, obstructing pavements and attracting vermin.

The students visited recycling plants and spoke to people living in Bedminster as part of their research into potential solutions. They also worked closely with Corsham, Wiltshire-based bin manufacturers Leafield Environmental – the company behind the design and production of all the university’s waste bins.

They then pitched their ideas to Bristol Waste, which is owned by Bristol City Council and has an existing partnership with the university,  as part of their course.

Bath Spa University BA furniture and product design course leader Julia Keyte said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Bristol Waste to help tackle household waste collection and recycling in Bristol.

“Students welcomed the challenge of interrogating the significant issue and this project allowed them the freedom to explore, explode, challenge, define and respond to the problem with autonomy, while also giving them an insight into their potential future careers.”

Third-year design student Samantha Hollingham added: “The Bristol Waste project was an exciting brief which gave us the opportunity to work with a variety of professionals and companies. It was great to design something for the ‘real world’, working to solve an issue that affects real people.

“My solution was a bin lid made out of waterproof and durable materials, which could be removed and personalised by the user. The idea of the lid was to protect the materials inside the bins, which are valuable to recycling plants.

“I also felt my solution could help brighten up streets. My design knowledge has expanded a huge amount as a result of this experience and I’m excited to take my newfound skills forward onto my next projects.”

Students from the university’s BA Business and Enterprise course were also involved in the community engagement and enterprise aspects of the project, as well as Suez, the global waste management company.


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