Metro Vancouver Close Up – Building a Better Bin in New Westminster to Tackle a Recycling Challenge

New Westminster Tests Recycling and Waste Bins MVCU from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

Metro Vancouver Close Up logoSorting recyclables becomes faster -and easier- when the information is consistent where ever you go – work, school, home and public spaces. New Westminster is working with Metro Vancouver to test out recycling bins that might become a common sight.

The city of New Westminster is testing out a new design of sidewalk waste bins, not just for garbage, but also recycling. These could be what you’ll eventually see installed at street level, all over metro Vancouver. It all started as a hands on learning exercise for students at the Emily Carr School of art and Design. Some of the bins were whimsical in design, but they were field tested too. In the end the final design was narrowed down to these.

New Bins Field Tested in B.C. Communities

“Now that there is a final design for pilot testing what we’ve done is we’ve offered it to different stake holders, explains Peter Cech, a Communications Specialist for Metro Vancouver. “One of the stake holders – Multi-material BC, took our bins and tested them in Richmond, North Vancouver and Penticton, against other bin models, to see what the contamination rates would be. What that means is; were people putting in the right materials in our bins as compared to other bins they were testing? That kind of testing is taking place right now in New Westminster.”

Designed to Increase Diversion

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 10.58.38 AMIn New Westminster, garbage going into the recycling has been a challenge in the past, but there are high hopes that these better-designed bins will result in less contamination. That will help the municipality achieve metro Vancouver’s goal of 80% waste diversion by 2020.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 10.50.12 AM“The bins themselves are triangular shaped so it’s easier for passers by to see from whichever direction they come from in order to throw their recycling materials into each bin,” notes Kristian Davis, Supervisor of Solid Waste and Recycling for the City of New Westminster. “The labels on the bins are clearly marked with icons that have been developed by Metro Vancouver, they’re colour coded to make it easier.”

Additional Municipalities to Test New Design

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 10.51.46 AMSix other member municipalities of Metro Vancouver plan to test these new bins as well.

“Our hope with this project is if we have the data that demonstrates that people recycle properly or they do a better job of recycling with our bins, that they’re adopted throughout the region, says Cech. “And what that means, if you’re in a park in say West Vancouver or Surrey or Port Coquitlam, if you see the same container you don’t have to puzzle out, what am i supposed to do here, you’ve already interacted with these bins and the likelihood of you recycling properly goes up even more.”

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