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Responsible Recycling

Resources for disposal, at your disposal

MA 22/23
Recycling, Sustainability, Packaging, Environment

We can all agree that it is important to recycle. But recycling can be confusing. We know which bin most things should go in, but somehow are never quite sure. Some of us recycle a lot, but may be unintentionally "wish-cycling". Someone may have taught us, but some of just have just had to figure it out. In case something goes wrong, there’s no feedback and we seldom find out what’s wrong – especially in London apartments!

The experience of recycling right isn’t easy. Factors like councils having different rules, the effort needed, lack of visibility, misinformation don't help either. How do you navigate such a scenario and be confident that you’re recycling right?

Our everyday decisions have a big, invisible impact. Confusion and "wish-cycling" can cause contamination. People get recycling; this project aims to help people get it right.

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A bin's journey

Your recycling bin goes to a facility to get sorted and put into bales of material to sell to recyclers for further processing.

Your general waste is burned, burned for electricity or sent to landfill.


When contaminated recycling is found, it is redirected to be burnt for electricity. This costs the councils, and the environment.

  • 84% of UK households unintentionally contaminate recycling.
  • Approx. 48 million GBP paid annually for contaminated recycling.


In 2021,

  • only 29.3% of total waste generated was recycled
  • 64.2% was burned for electricity

At Present,

  • The recycling rate in London is 33%, meaning 66% of recyclable material is not recyled or recovered.

By 2030,

  • The Mayor of London's goal is to get a rate of 65%

the recyclers

What discourages people?

  • Lack of Trust in the system
  • Lack of Visibility
  • Scattered sources of Information
  • No formal instructions
  • Limited access to Bins
  • Too much effort

People recycle by making their best guess.

Design direction

Key Insight: The Recyclability of a material does not depend on the material composition itself, but whether your council accepts it or not.

How might we help people understand information relevant to their location in an engaging and actionable manner?

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