We are designing a new composting system and user flow for the Union Square Location in New York City. This new process aims to simplify the composting for people who currently participate in composting as well as developing a set of incentives to promote continued efforts as well as getting new participants.

Presentation Link

ROLE – Designer  |  CATEGORY – 3D Modeling + Sketch |  TIME – 3 Week

Problem & Solution

Living in New York City this past year has given a unique insight into the various problems and difficulties that come about in living in this metropolis vs. the small shady suburbs of Bethesda or the open ranges of Rochester, New York. The one that stands out to me the greatest is the trash. In NYC alone more than ___ of organic waste goes wrong place I.E land pits out in New Jersy instead of being composted and disposed of probably to be reused. For the people who do compost have a painstaking process to go about it and are rewarded nothing for their efforts. Working together with a group of two other designers we want to change this two-fold.

To teach New Yorkers how to recycle their extras with compost using an easy to understand Zero Waste NYC App and Bin System. Second to create incentive for current composters with points, social rewards, and useful composting tools for both new and old users


On-Site Observations

  • Many people carried larger bags with them too with smaller plastic compost bags in them
  • By around 2:30 about 3 hours into the set up 6 of the 8 bins were completely filled up
  • Those who compost travel various distances and multiple locations, one woman came from Brooklyn
  • Bins and composting location were innocuous to new composting with no signage or directions (dump and go) in plain grey bins.



From our observations and outside research, we proposed a combination of a smart bin disposal system built into the union square site itself, connected to the LinksNYC system. In addition developing an Open Zero Waste App. This app is a multipurpose tool for composter’s allowing a check in service to any connected site, location help identifying composting sites and times throughout the Manhatten and Brooklyn area, as well a way to collect rewards from partnered groups and companies. 


Author Davidutt

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