Michelle, Amy, Mary and Erland

To start of our design proposal brief we began to boundary set anything associated with the UTS waste system that is in place now. From this we came up with three main areas that we felt as a group needed to be improved to create a better organics waste system at UTS.

The three areas were:

  • Education
  • Signage / Bins
  • Data Tools


Having two different disciplinary areas in our group we had two main methods of design research. Visual communication designers use their computers to do their research as well as data collection and statistics,  while fashion designers use process journals, observe, analyse and map what is around them. With this we used a combination of our methods and created an online survey which 52 people filled out and completed online research. We also did observations around the university and system mapping which we found to be a useful tool.


  • Other university recycling programs

From this research we discovered that not a lot of organics waste is done in Australia but over in American and Canada they have a tournament called Recycle Mania . This is an 8 week tournament that consists of universities and colleges across America and Canada and helps promote their university recycle and waste programs.

  • Bins

We researched into the types of bins that are around the world at the moment. The biggest piece of information received from was that bins with different shape openings are 34% more effective then other bins. (Heimbuch, J., 2016)

Bins that were colourful, neat, and clearly represented were more appealing to the eye. This research was done through observation and analysing the bin designs create form around the world.

  • Data Collection Process

Data collection tools were researched to inform us what is already around and what UTS could potentially implement in a new organics waste system


  • Observations around UTS

Part of our interdisciplinary research we incorporated observations, so we looked around the uni and observed the bins in placement and the signage. The bins were usually placed on walls or near pillars with a small signage around it, but the signage was never at eye level or clear and precise.


Our survey consisted of 10 questions, which 52 people answered.Link Below 

The survey results showed that  90% of people were not aware that UTS was trying to introduce food waste bins. This indicated to us that awareness was the first place to start introducing into the waste management system. If people are not aware of what is happening they cannot separate their waste and help the organics waste program.
Th survey provided solid feedback that we could work with.

Problem Statement 

With the introduction of on-site organic waste processing to UTS, we need a waste separation system and ongoing education campaign for the continuously changing student body, staff and visitors that results in a near-zero contamination organic waste stream.


(Map displaying the focus areas and sub sections associated with it )


What is – What could be 

We created a system  to map out what is present to us now and what the potential of the system could be. Example below.

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.51.39 pm.png

From here we had to create the middle section of the system, the missing link. The solution to get us to where we wanted to be. We focused on Education, Bins and Data tools.

Below is our solutions for the areas of focus.


Awareness is the first key to organics waste management. Educating the students and teachers is the first step. As their is a continual over turn of new students every year and semesters we thought that an o week education session on organics waste was ideal. So students become aware of what UTS is trying to achieve. To have a stall during o week that demonstrates the bin usage, what should go in what bin, the dos and don’ts, the benefits of the environment and the negative impacts on contamination to the environment and atmosphere as well as why it is important to now mix the incorrect waste in the wrong bin.

Once informed in o week there will be an introduction of a competition the UTS Food Waste Race which will be between faculties. This is based on the highest percentage of food waste in bins with the least amount of contamination. The incentive at the end will be a free BBQ for the staff and students. Promotion poster is below.


Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.53.15 pm.png

Bin / Signage 

We have re designed the bins for UTS. A one unit bin with two sections. One for the food waste and the other co- mingled. The two different openings to hopefully have more efficient waste management by students and staff. Imagery used with clearly presented ticks and cross (dos and donts) for the bins.


Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.52.57 pmScreen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.53.03 pm



Data collection will be streamed on the splash screens around the uni and show the count of waste saved. Example of a splash back below.

This keeps the students informed on what is going on and how it is helping the environment. A positive reinforcement statement for the students.



Final Presentation Link 


Heimbuch, J. (2016). Recycling Bins 34% More Effective When They Have…Holes!. [online] TreeHugger. Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2016].

National Recycling Week. (2016). Seven Secrets of Successful Recyclers. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2016]. (2016). About | Recyclemania. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jun. 2016].


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