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Compressor Bin

In the UK we have mostly have small houses. Multiple bins for recycling take up lots of space, so tend to be moved outside, which makes people less likely to recycle as it is more hassle. Since most recyclable items are containers, they have lots of air inside them. By having bins that compress items, they can take up less space and be placed close to hand, encouraging their use.

Photo of Ian Gregory
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Explain your idea in one sentence

A bin to minimise the size of recyclable items as they are disposed of, meaning the bin takes up less valuable space.
The mechanism needs to be simple, safe and not require electricity.  It also needs to take up little space.  Additionally it needs to cope with a variety of materials.  Perhaps there are some budding mechanical designers in the community?

Describe how your idea would help form new habits and improve recycling at home

Since recycling would no longer mean constant trips to the bin in the rain, it is far more likely that people would actually do it.

How might you design an early, lightweight experiment to further develop your idea?

For a sample of users, temporarily install larger bins with no compression mechanism to see if the proximity of the recycling bins to the kitchen workspace increases recycling. Observer behaviour.

What aspects of your idea could benefit from the input of our OpenIDEO community?

Practical design of a simple, safe, non electrical mechanism for compaction. Industrial design.

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Photo of Robert James
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Nice idea Ian. I'm reminded of this product:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eko-Mania-Paper-Log-Maker-Green/dp/B000OOCMB2

Which is a manual compressor for creating 'fire bricks' from old newspaper. It fits in with your requirement of being a simple, 'non' electric compressor that creates something with a reduced volume.

I like the idea that the 'output' is standardised too; perhaps there is something in having a lot of these 'bricks' that are the same size and can be used to create something else...?

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