Throwise is a new waste disposal system for elementary schools that alters the ordinary interaction between students and waste bins through a game-based strategy.
Inspired by the concept "pay-as-you-throw" which is not yet implemented in Toronto, students will have to pay using Ren, a new currency, depending on the type(s) of waste they produce.
The campaign is proposed to be launched as a pilot run during Waste Reduction Week (WRW) in Canada 2019. The lesser waste students produce, the more Rens they can save, the higher chance they and the winning class will get the reward at the end of WRW.
The aim of this campaign not only helps our next generation make better choice of what they throw but also reduce "throw-it-for-granted" attitude while they are growing up to achieve the ultimate goal of waste reduction.
Project advisors:Miles Keller & David Quan
A smiley face with a blinking eye
According to the world bank report, it is found that the amount of solid waste will be double by the year 2025 even though most Canadian today have started a good habit of recycling. However, research said that many Canadian have been recycling in a wrong way due to confusion, ignorance and laziness which led to high contamination in blue bins. In this increasingly technological world, there are lots of new types of packaging which are actually difficult for many recycling program to handle.
Under this throwaway culture, we have been producing lots of waste and we wanted to recycle things right but it turned out to be contamination, making recycling mistakes. Why we made our life even harder?
When thinking about 3Rs, Reducing always comes as the top priority. Waste minimization is the core solution to address the problem at the source. As a grown up, it is hard for most of us to make changes that we are not used to because we have already developed our lifestyle. But a good eco-minded habit is easy to be cultivated when we were still young.
Throwise (throw-wisely) is a gamification of disposing waste to help elementary school students reduce waste. They need to pay for what they throw using a new currency called "Ren". All original bins will be replaced by the smart bins (garbage, recycle and green). Garbage costs three Rens; recyclable costs two Rens; organic waste only costs one Ren. The aim is to raise their awareness of what they produce and make better choice of what they use. The lesser waste they produce, the more Rens they can save, the higher chance they can win the reward eventually by redeeming their Rens. It also helps them develop a good concept of money management and saving.
It is proposed to be a trial run during Waste Reduction Week in Canada from Oct. 21-27, 2019. If it is launched successfully and received positive feedback from teachers, the principal as well as parents, Throwise could be run in a larger scale so that more schools can gain benefits from it.
On the first day of WRW, homeroom teachers will distribute 50 Rens to each student with the same amount of Rens in different colours for each class. Students can spend their Rens however they want but the core aim is to save as many Rens as they can in order to win the ultimate reward which could be any reusable products such as stainless steel water bottle or board/card games that facilitate student's another level of learning and cognitive skills.
Informational and promotional posters are posted around the campus so that teachers and students can learn about Throwise in advance and get ready for this new campaign!
In order to make this new campaign more engaging to students, there is a digital screen on each smart bin so that students are able to keep track of their spending, knowing which class is currently doing the best job on reducing waste and thus bringing upward comparison effectively. It is like a friendly competition on reducing waste (the colour of the Ren identifies which class they're from). The school can also monitor which bin is the most frequently used and what type of waste is generated in the mainstream in school. It also serves as a simplified alternative over conducting a full waste audit.
In terms of design decision, the smiley face with a blinking eye shows a sense of friendliness to students. The clear body of the bin gives transparency so that students can easily notice how much waste they have thrown inside each bin. The actual bins are to be manufactured in aluminium and clear polypropylene. The bins will be placed in common school areas such as wide hallway, cafeteria, library etc.
Work cited (Photo)
KansasCity, and BETH LIPOFFSpecial to The Star. "Waste Not: Composting Program Means Less Waste at Shawnee Mission Schools." Kansascity, The Kansas City Star, 27 Apr. 2017, www.kansascity.com/news/local/community/joco-913/olathe-southwest-joco/article147196519.html.
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