Braun | P&G
Canadians throw away 777 kilograms of garbage per citizen, per year. Users have no method available to compare, understand or learn about their direct impact on the environment.
How Might We...
create a visual tool which enables users to better understand their waste impact?
What Waste Watch Does
Waste Watch fits into any suburban households current waste rituals, guiding users understanding of their waste production, while also promoting green alternatives, incentives and friendly competition.
How Waste Watch Works
Waste Watch utilizes a localized scale sensor under an aluminum pad which would identify the weight of the bin on top of it. From the scale, a power and data chord would run to the secondary wall component. This component retains a long range wireless antenna, OLED display, indication LED’s as well as a low power computer unit to run the entire device. The user would then use the Waste Watch app to calibrate the unit to their wireless network. The user can then place their empty waste bin onto the connected pad to calibrate the net 0 of the users waste bin. Households will then dispose of waste as usual but instead be reminded visually on how they’re doing via coloured lights and intuitive OLED screen. Users also have the ability to learn more about recycling and compost from the affiliated app.
The Waste Watch Cycle
The core goal of Waste Watch was to investigate methods enabling households to generate less waste. From this overarching goal, I narrowed down my research to families within suburban neighbourhoods. My target demographic for user testing included users from student houses and families of multiple sizes. It was unanimous that families felt that being more knowledgeable would assist them, as well as their children in how to reduce their environmental impact.
Using ethnographic research I realized that most users placed their bins beside the home on gravel or concrete. Due to this finding, the form of Waste Watch had to withstand seasonal wear and tear. This finding influenced the overall aesthetic as well as the materiality, which revolves around recycled ABS and cast aluminum components.
After iterating on conceptual forms, I used computer modeling to investigate how various sizes and shapes of waste bins would function on the weight pad. Finally, I consulted with an engineer on the form of both components to gain a better understanding of how each part would correspond with manufacturing techniques and technology.
To maintain simplicity, colour is the dominant visual aid to quickly inform the user of their weekly garbage impact statistics. This is paired with an OLED display which adds a real time visual comparison to the neighborhood average, or between the users family and friends.
Within the Waste Watch app, users are presented with an overview of their current waste production status as well as comparisons to family, friends or others within their region.
The Waste Watch app is a localized experience for users to visualize their current garbage production status, leader boards between family and friends as well as informative videos. Users who maintain their garbage production below the municipal average will be rewarded with eco-friendly products or monetary incentives.