Bath Spa Uni students’ rubbish ideas to help Bristolians box clever over waste and recycling

March 15, 2019

A group of second and third-year design students from Bath Spa University’s Bath School of Art and Design have developed innovative answers to common problems linked to wheelie bins and recycling boxes.

Bristol Waste, which handles all domestic waste collection and recycling in Bristol, tasked the students with designing new ways of storing waste or recycling that would tackle the issue of bins and boxes permanently on the street, obstructing pavements and attracting vermin.

The students researched potential solutions by working closely with Corsham-based bin manufacturers Leafield Environmental – the company behind the design and production of all the university’s waste bins.

They also visited recycling plants and people living in the Bedminster area of Bristol before pitching their ideas to Bristol Waste, which has an existing partnership with the university,  as part of their course.

Bath Spa University BA furniture and product design course leader Julia Keyte said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Bristol Waste to help tackle household waste collection and recycling in Bristol.

“Students welcomed the challenge of interrogating the significant issue and this project allowed them the freedom to explore, explode, challenge, define and respond to the problem with autonomy, while also giving them an insight into their potential future careers.”

Third-year design student Samantha Hollingham added: “The Bristol Waste project was an exciting brief which gave us the opportunity to work with a variety of professionals and companies. It was great to design something for the 'real world', working to solve an issue that affects real people.

“My solution was a bin lid made out of waterproof and durable materials, which could be removed and personalised by the user. The idea of the lid was to protect the materials inside the bins, which are valuable to recycling plants.

“I also felt my solution could help brighten up streets. My design knowledge has expanded a huge amount as a result of this experience and I’m excited to take my newfound skills forward onto my next projects.”

Students from the university’s BA Business and Enterprise course were also involved in the community engagement and enterprise aspects of the project, as well as Suez, the global waste management company. 


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