When you want to get an effective solution to the problem, the data/research method has become an indispensable tool. An appropriate research method will help you collect and correctly interpret the results of research in any field of behavioral science.
As a designer, I usually work with two research methods to develop my projects. The first method is investigation of secondary sources that I used to support my primary research. The second is investigation of and analysis of data, which can help me find out the key problems. This technique is applied in various fields: scientific research, medical treatment, environmental protection and resource recovery. For example, environmental protection organizations use the detection of atmospheric and water pollutants data, with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.
City of Sydney created their, “Interim Waste Strategy” to meet their target for diverting 66 percent of domestic waste from landfill by 2014 (EWB). As well, it details the other issues, trends, potential targets and goals the City is considering in order to provide sustainable waste and recycling services through until 2030. In order to put forward a more influential design solution, the City of Sydney has collected the data from the local waste audit, and analysed it to clarify the main problem.
In 2011 The City of Sydney had:
- more than 180,000 residents in approximately 90,000 homes
- Approximately 308,000 tonnes of garbage and recycling was produced across the local government area in 2010
Based on the data that shows the present rates of population growth, they believe the City could be producing more than 375,000 tonnes of waste in 2030 (EWB 2008)
Waste Audit data:
I believe the most interesting thing is their design solution in 2020 is that in apartment buildings, every morning, you need put your coffee grounds into a home composting container and take the recycling and garbage bags with you. The service room near your lift will be accessible 24-hours a day, so you do not need to keep the garbage in your apartment.
Inside the service room, there will be a garbage inlet, which automatically opens as you pass your coded garbage bag in front of an electronic reader. If you put the bag inside, it will drop to a storage pod in the building’s basement. Every time you put the garbage in the correct category, the system will send you message to give you reward discounts at a local store.
It is a great way to encourage people to engage in waste management and reflect on real action.
As well as this, cat food tins, drink bottles and cardboard packaging are removed and separated into different containers, then taken to the Advanced Waste Treatment Center. In the treatment center, recyclables and useful materials are sifted and used to produce synthetic gas. Synthetic gas will supply the city’s electricity and provide heat throughout the network. The design of this innovative technology will not only support peoples lives in a sustainable city, it will also make the community realize that recycling a small part of garbage can help you power your home and make your life better.
(City of Sydney 2014)
City of Sydney 2014, The City of Sydney’s plan for waste you can’t recycle, Youtube, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBiLJcROfBk >
Engineers without borders Australia, 2008, waste management, < http://www.ewb.org.au/explore/initiatives/ewbchallenge/hfhewbchallenge/hfhwastemanagement >
GlobaIPSC, 2011, ‘ City of Sydney Supports GlobaIPSC in interim Waste Strategy ‘, post on News, 9 September 2011, viewed 9 June 2016, <http://serapdx.com/2016/02/waste-audits-the-dirty-work-of-office-sustainability/>