Post D: Literature Review

The UTS Waste Management Plan (n.d.) was introduced as a required reading of the Wealth from Waste subject. This document is relevant as it outlined the history of waste management at UTS, the current progress and statistics of the amount of waste that is rescued or sent to landfill, the systems and facilities in place to sort and process waste on and off site, and the goals that UTS aimed to achieve into the future. This document, and other information about the UTS waste management system such as information by UTS Green (2017) and the Institute for Sustainable Futures (2017), was particularly useful to our group project as it provided information and guidance on our designs and helped frame our brief. It brought a non-governmental and small scale perspective to the organic waste problem.

The Highgrove Royal Gardens in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, is a residence of the Prince of Wales which incorporates organic farming practices with sustainability concepts (The Prince of Wales, 2017). I was aware of Highgrove for many years through an introduction by my partner to a video on the gardens (The British Monarchy, 2011) as I had always had a keen interest in sustainability practices. The management practices of Highgrove show how the organic waste life cycle can be treated locally, within 15 acres, in a residential setting. I found it particularly interesting that they treat their own wastewater through a reed filtration system (The British Monarchy, 2011). In tandem with the gardens, Prince Charles has also established an International Sustainability Unit (2011) which has published articles addressing sustainable urbanisation (International Sustainability Unit, 2015) and research on the sustainability and resilience of food systems on a global level (International Sustainability Unit, 2011).

Technical Document on Municipal Organics Waste Processing

The “Technical Document on Municipal Organics Waste Processing” (Environment Canada, 2013) was a very valuable document in helping me understand the was organic was could be processed on a large scale and relates directly with the issues discussed in class in regards to how multiple systems and stakeholders may be able to work together to achieve a complete and efficient system. This document was found while I was searching for information about caddy liner design and organic waste statistics.

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Temperature variations and microbial populations during the composting process (Environment Canada, 2013, pp. 31)

It was highly relevant to our subject as it describes, in depth, statistics of amounts of organic waste produced and processed in municipal areas in Canada, the challenges and benefits to recycling organic waste, the processes local councils may use to treat organic waste, the scientific and biological process of breaking down organics, the available technologies that can be harnessed for organic waste recycling, how the resulting by-products are used and the structure of the compost market system. It is an end to end understanding of the organic waste process which mentioned how bin caddies can be used in the household (Environment Canada, 2013, pp. 31) to which system combination could councils implement (Environment Canada, 2013, pp. 193). The information provided is educational and serves as a guide weighing the pros and cons of each method that is mentioned in the document to help local councils make decisions about their own waste management systems. The way the document was formed showed at least an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the full waste stream as it combined many industries and skill sets. Environment Canada also presented the information in a comprehensive yet concise manner which seemed ideal for making informed bureaucratic decisions.

References

The British Monarchy, 2011, “Highgroves: Discover its sustainable secrets”, Youtube video, England, viewed 10th June 2017, <https://youtu.be/OAbeYk_vSaI >

Environment Canada, 2013, “Technical Document on Municipal Solid Waste Organics Process”, Canada, viewed 17th April 2017, <http://www.compost.org/English/PDF/Technical_Document_MSW_Organics_Processing_2013.pdf >

International Sustainability Unit, 2011, “What Price Resilience? Towards sustainable and secure food systems“, UK, viewed 10th June 2017, <http://pcfisu.org/wp-content/uploads/pdfs/TPC0632_Resilience_report_WEB11_07_SMALLER.pdf >

International Sustainability Unit, 2015, “Food in an urbanised world“, UK, viewed 10th June 2017, <http://www.pcfisu.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CRFS-7-April-10-.zip >

Prince of Wales, 2017, “The Royal Gardens“, Clarence House, England, viewed 10th June 2017, <https://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/features/the-royal-gardens >

UTS, n.d., “UTS Waste Management Plan“, UTS, Sydney, viewed 18th March 2017, <https://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/WASTE_MANAGEMENT_PLAN.140301.pdf >

UTS Green, 2017, “Waste and recycling | University of Technology Sydney“, UTS, Sydney, viewed 17th April 2017, <https://www.uts.edu.au/partners-and-community/initiatives/uts-green/campus-operations/waste-and-recycling >

UTS Institute of Sustainable Futures, 2017, “Food scraps to soil conditioner: Processing food waste onsite at UTS | University of Technology Sydney“, UTS, Sydney, viewed 17th April 2017, <https://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/our-research/institute-sustainable-futures/our-research/food-futures/food >

POST C : Researching Methods- Got to Start Somewhere

Our team, Green Tea Leaves conducted various means of research methods to determine the appropriateness’ and to develop a solution in line with our briefs goals.
Green Tea Leaves main objectives for the brief were to:
• Educate the people who use the undergrounds food court, about their wastes impact to the environment.
• Change the waste system within the underground so that the waste produced in the underground was divided correctly.
Surveying:Capture

Green Tealeaves, 2017, Waste Management in the Underground Survey, Survey Monkey, Taken Screenshot 7th June 2017.

We started with surveying people to justify that these objectives were necessary and that the lack of education was the cause of higher volumes of food wastage and incorrect waste disposal. 42% of people said that they don’t know how to divide their waste properly while 30 out of 50 people commented that if the bins were labelled better, that it would make dividing waste easier. This was a really imperative step for us as it highlighted our first design approach.

Ethnography:
Our team recorded and reviewed footage of people using the undergrounds waste system. This footage reaffirmed that a large portion of people didn’t understand the bin system because of their incorrect disposal of their waste. However it was not because of a lack of trying, multiple people took time to examine and process where they believed their rubbish should go, this confirmed to us that our stakeholders- being the users of the underground were a good target audience.

Literature Review:

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Organic Recycling, Closed Loop, viewed 4th June 2017, <http://www.closedloop.com.au/products-and-services/organic-recycling>.

The statistics and information we found from literary sources was the primary data we used for education and encouragement for people to divide their waste and change their habits. It was really important for us to have hard facts and statistics from a creditable and trustworthy sources for our audience to believe and resonate with.

Visual Analysis:

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University of technology Sydney Marketing, 2017, UTS Brand Guidelines April 2017, University of Technology Sydney, viewed 3rd June 2017, <https://staff.uts.edu.au/topichub/MCU/Overview%20Page/UTS_Brand-Guidelines_2017.pdf >

Having the UTS board and marketing team as some of our main stakeholders, we believed that it was beneficial for our design aesthetics to fit cohesively within the new UTS branding. Therefore this meant that we relied on visual analysis of the current changes around the university while also assessing the UTS Branding Guidelines

to develop our designs aesthetics. Things taken into consideration were colour schemes, typography, composition and layout and iconography.

Mapping:
Combining what we had concluded from the literature reviews and visual analysis we were able to create our designs. It was then because of our mapping of the underground area that we could deduce where our designs could fit within the space the most effectively.

Overall these research methods were imperative to the success of our design in accordance to our brief. It was a lot easier to find solutions based from the data we found from each of these methods.

 

References:

Organic Recycling, Closed Loop, viewed 4th June 2017, <http://www.closedloop.com.au/products-and-services/organic-recycling>.

Green Tealeaves, 2017, Waste Management in the Underground Survey, Survey Monkey, Taken Screenshot 7th June 2017.

University of technology Sydney Marketing, 2017, UTS Brand Guidelines April 2017, University of Technology Sydney, viewed 3rd June 2017, <https://staff.uts.edu.au/topichub/MCU/Overview%20Page/UTS_Brand-Guidelines_2017.pdf > **Images were collaged together by Tegan Kearney

University of technology Sydney Marketing, 2017, UTS MCU Tone of Voice Guide, UTS, Sydney, viewed 3rd June 2017, <https://staff.uts.edu.au/topichub/MCU/Overview%20Page/UTS_Tone-of-Voice_2017.pdf >

 

 

Blog Post B: Reflection and Systems

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Green Tea Leaves, 2017,  Kitchen Caddy Liner Flyer, Lab B: Wealth from Waste, University of Technology Sydney.

We all rely and belong to multitudes of complex systems in our day to day lives. As a designer it is in our nature to approach problems within these systems in a more diverse and broad way, therefore creating innovating solutions. To do this our design solutions are to be effective on more than just a component level, they are required to be formed from a group of interacting, interrelated and interdepended components that form a complex and unified solution’ (Pegasus Communications, 2012)

Case Study:

Sian from EPA approached our team with a problem within the waste management system. Focusing our scope to organic waste, as a means to improve this system, we were given the brief to design a successful kitchen caddy liner that numerous demographics could use and construct on their own.

If done successfully these kitchen caddy liners would encourage residences to divide their organic waste from general waste so it does not arrive in landfill, resulting in the release of toxic greenhouse gasses and further pollution into our water ways.

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Green Tea Leaves, 2017, Collaborative Group Dynamics, Lab B Wealth From Waste, University of Technology Sydney.

Our group the Green Tea Leaves was able to successfully meet this brief. A large part of our designs success was due to our teams compatibility and multidisciplinary backgrounds: integrated product Design (IPD), Visual Communication and Fashion and Textiles design.

Various collaborative approaches like these are encouraged in design thinking and problem solving because some issues are simply too complex for an individual to comprehend and resolve completely (Whyte and Bessant 2007). Our group found after complying with our charter that ‘Exercising collaborative skills and playing to one another’s strengths’ successful as it opened up new approaches and perspectives.

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Green Tea Leaves, 2017, Group Charter, Lab B Wealth to Waste, University Technology Sydney.

Each of us had different assets and characteristics to contribute to make our design work, enabling our successful impact within the organic waste system:

IPD- Timo and Tanya: Questioned the true origins of the problem within the overall system, conducted research and made sure our findings were compatible through concise recording methods.
Visual communication- Gladys: Validated the success of our design, the construction methods needed to be easily and concisely communicated to an array of demographics while also remaining aesthetically pleasing.
Fashion and textiles- Tegan: Tested the products functionality and aesthetics, utilising there connections with various people and making suitable adjustments when necessary.

Before Sian approached us, the Shoalhaven local council unsuccessfully designed their own Kitchen caddie liner and Flyer. This is a good example of why designers are an important assets within the management of organic waste. We firstly rely on professionals within this fields to understand the system, then we as designers are able to utilise our skillsets (like the ones listed above) to make improvements to the efficiency of already existing or implement new ideas, that people within this field do not have the knowledge about currently. (Checkland,P. & Paulter, J. 2006)

References:

Checkland, P. & Poulter, J. 2006, Learning For Action: A Short Definitive Account of Soft Systems Methodology and Its Use For Practitioner,teachers and students, JohnWiley&Sons, Hoboken.

Whyte, J. & Bessant, J. 2007, Making the Most of UK Design Excellence: Equipping UK designers to succeed in the global economy, Innovation Studies Centre, London.

Pegasus Communications, 2012, What is systems thinking?, Systems thinker, viewed 10th May 2017.