Issues and opportunities:
City of Champaign doesn't not offer battery recycling program due to multiple reasons, including labour and cost, while City of Urbana has only 5 battery drop off locations.
After talking to the recycling coordinator, Courtney, at Urbana, our team discovered some issues with the current recycling bins that are used in Urbana, along with some design opportunities. "Even though I go pick up the batteries twice a week, I still see the batteries overflow. It is very dangerous when younger kids are around," said Courtney. She also expressed her worries in their cellphone recycling box at the city e-waste recycling events- "The box we are using now is just a cardboard box and I have to keep an eye on it to prevent people from stealing it getting very important personal information." Wiping out hard-drive is very time consuming and some people might not pay much attention before discarding their phones. With people out there trying to steal those information, she thinks that if the recycling bin can be more secure then it won't require as much attention, therefore they can increase the number of the drop-off locations.
DFA-UIUC came up with this idea to solve the safety problems by having a special-designed opening for dropping off (see image 2) to prevent anyone from reaching in to the bin. With the better security of the design, we can place these bins at more locations, including city buildings and local stores to reduce the chance of batteries overflowing. The screen on top of the bins are made out of old computers that are not able to perform complicated tasks. To make the behavior more interactive the screen indicated the volume of the items are currently in the bins. After looking at the current battery recycling bin in Urbana (see image 1), we think the transparent tube wasted the space to advertise the local e-waste recycling event and information (according to our survey, people who do not know about the program are more than 50%). In this design, we utilize the space on the bin to advertise the local recycling program allowing the residents to recycle other items properly. We also think that each bin can be sponsor by different company to reduce the cost of collecting, and advertise the company at the mean time.