Posts Tagged ‘Recycling

Group Name: GWAM

Our product is for the College and University systems of Georgia who are unconscious of how much clean water is being wasted daily, that have students who constantly use water on a daily basis.  Our solution is a filtration/plumbing system incorporated into the bathrooms of dorms and sprinkling systems, that involves filtering off various products used in conjunction with water, as well as run off, and reusing that water.  Unlike the plumbing and drainage systems that are in place that send a vast amount of water to the sewers, our system collects water that has been used, filters it, and redistributes that water back to the bathrooms of dorms, and sprinkling systems.


All the water that we use in our homes comes from either a ground source, such as an aquifer or well, or a surface water source, such as a water processing plant which refines and recycles water.  After we are done using the water in our homes it generally goes into a septic tank, seeps into the ground to evaporate, or travels to a sewage-treatment facility.   On average, experts estimate that a person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day, which comes from not only the use of the toilet, but from the shower, and sinks as well.  Our field research consisted of interviews, and the results are as follows.


  • How much water do you think you use daily?
  • In what ways do you think you could reduce this number?
  • Do you think watching water consumption is a concern for the future?

Jake Conroy

  • I think I use around 40 gallons, only because of showering.
  • I could take quicker showers and use the faucet less.
  • Yes, because if we can reduce our use of water daily, it will overall reduce the costs for the future to process and clean water for us to use.

John Schaberg

  • I probably use around 60 gallons of water daily.
  • My showers could definitely be shorter.  I am tending to stay in longer in the warm water since it is getting cooler outside.
  • There is no concern for the immediate future.  As long as our usage does not increase in a dramatic amount, I don’t feel like it will be a big concern or issue to worry about.


Vegetable Oil Recycling

18, نوفمبر 2010

How many people/ who is involved in the Oil recycling movement?

Example of local movements: Clermont County, OH: furnace for public building. [1]

Example of national movement: American Petroleum Institute. [1]

Example of individual movement: Individuals work with local restaurants [5]

Green groups; community members; recycling centers across country, internet sites [2] [4]

There is no national map of locations where oil recycling takes place, nor is there a national number of the population involved. This is mainly because locations depend on the holiday seasons to operate.  However, certain public buildings in large cities, along with local recycling centers, run this program year-round. In addition, there are a countless amount of local articles that depict community activities during the holidays. Many towns, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas, open a local center where community members can take their used oil at the end of the holidays. This oil is used to power furnaces and cars. Finally, some restaurants will donate their used oil to whoever asks so that they may convert it to car oil from their own home [5].

Taxonomy: Cooperative Design

This design is meant for cooperation. It would not be very effective if a few individuals did this entirely by themselves. You can see the obvious dynamic of groups involved by looking at the information provided above.  Although there are individuals working by themselves, these single contributors are still involved in community activities; indeed, they connect online by sharing ways to make fuel on blogs or instruction posts [3]. They also cooperate with corporations. For example, the McDonald’s in my home town sells its oil for a low price to residents for fuel recycling. When the holidays roll around, certain groups will find a location for the entire community to cooperatively contribute.  Sometimes these are organizations [4], but sometimes they are just a group of residents that want to help out. Finally, this design idea holds aspects of national cooperation. Because of all of the attention it gets from news channels and the internet during holidays, many people are at least aware that you can contribute to oil recycling. Since the media encourages this idea, you can easily log onto your channel’s website and find out how to get involved yourself.

Negotiation One:  Seasonal benefit v. year round application

Although the majority of participants help out during Thanksgiving and Christmas, many campaigners for oil recycle are working to make it a habit for people all year round. For instance, the American Petroleum Institute has created a certified website that teaches you how to recycle used motor oil, instead of merely focusing on vegetables and turkey oils [6].  This doesn’t require a celebratory feast; rather, you are helping by recycling something you use every day. One major problem in the negotiation between seasonal benefit v. year round application is the accessibility. Although companies are slowly latching on to the idea of oil recycling, many community groups only open up on holidays. However, this problem has been somewhat negated through the internet. Because of information blogs and how-to’s [3], people can work on their own with greater ease. This individual contribution helps more than you think; in fact, one article stated that recycling two gallons of used oil can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours [1]. By utilizing the internet to bridge the gap between big businesses, holiday groups, and individuals, our nation is slowly recognizing the negotiation between what is normally just a seasonal benefit and what could potentially be a year round application.

Links to gathered resources:







Negotiation Two: Personal vs. Communal Effects of Recycling

Recycling used cooking oil is a smart and practical decision.  This oil must be disposed of in one way or another, whether it is poured down the drain, thrown in the trash, or recycled.  Cooking oil and kitchen grease is the number one cause of clogged sewer pipes, making the first choice ill-advised.  Not only will the oil pollute the water it comes in contact with, but it will most likely clog your drain and become a hassle.  If you choose to throw it away, you are likely to have it spill, in the process of its disposal, once it is in the trash can, or once it leaves you and reaches the garbage truck and the landfill.  This leaves behind a gross mess for you, garbage collectors, and animals who live near/in landfills.  Therefore, recycling the oil is the best option, for you and your community.  Not only will it keep your pipes, home, and environment clean, but it will also be used to create fuel/power.  In a world with a limited supply oil, and an ever-worsening and more polluted environment, this proves to be important.


There are many benefits to using both turkey waste and the unwanted parts of a turkey into biofuel.  Like many biofuels, the carbon footprint of the turkey oil would be far less than that of petroleum based oils.  The recycling of dead turkey parts not only repurposes something that would just go to waste, but it would hopefully help take some of the United States’ dependence on foreign oil away.  Turkeys are a plentiful and renewable resource.  Every year around Thanksgiving there is a countrywide desire for turkey and with all of these turkeys being bought, there are plenty of chances to turn the unwanted, unused bits of the bird in making a biofuel.

A few drawbacks with turkey fuel are that it is not very easy to refine which makes the cost of turning these birds into fuel an expensive endeavor.  Once a manufacturer goes about making the fuel it is then difficult to make a profit off of this yet to be proven biofuel.  The oilmaking process for turkeys has yet to be perfected and the oil produced is more akin to something used for heavy machinery, not something like your Chevrolet or Vespa.


Superior Service Recycling:

“We process 100% of our used cooking oil into biofuel. Superior Service Recycling is licensed and certified with all the required state and federal agencies.”

Pick up:

  • Used Cooking Oil (Oil from Fryer) FREE
  • Lard or Grease (Drippings from Meat) FREE
  • Trimmings/Scraps (.25¢/lb.)
  • Trap Grease/Water (0-110 gallons = $1.00/gallon | 111-1000 gallons = .50¢/gallon)

Earth 911:

Provides basic information on recycling different products and a listing for recycling centers near you. &country=&province=&city=

Links: &country=&province=&city=


Mahoney Environmental and Mendota Argi-Products is a company that recycles used vegetable oil and other liquids. The video below runs through the process of shipping and recycling large quantities of oil.

This is a biodiesel oil recycling system, where the used vegetable oil would be taken and processed into a fuel source.

A European bus service, the Big Lemon, runs all of their busses on recycled vegetable oil, and is therefore an environmentally friendly choice when traveling.

Harvesting Biogas For Power

pet owner and pet
pet and pet food
pet waste and pet owner
taking the time to recycle pet waste can save time sorting it from other waste when it is later disposed of
recyclers and pet waste
pet waste and machine used to convert it to methane
pet waste and waste deposit centers

environmental design
energy design
community improvement design
waste management design
water filtration design

notes and rationale:
helps dispose of waste
cleans the water system
most public pet areas already have disposal units, it would just be collected by other people
more methane means cheaper gas prices (for things that use methane, that is)
pets can be a tax write off for companies that rely on methane
more stray animals and those in pounds will be kept alive and fed for their feces (precents unnecessary harm of animals while providing them with food)

location of origin:
San Francisco

similar ideas:
the same idea has already been established in several European countries

Pets in America produce tons of waste a year that is in turn inefficiently disposed of, causing clutter and landfills, and in many cases mixing with water sources near the landfills, tainting water used by humans for personal use. In many public parks, there are already pet waste facilities that can/are to be used to dispose of the waste. Since it is already being collected, why not place all of that waste in a facility that can convert that waste into methane gas. It takes nothing more than a conversion facility since the collection and creating waste aspects of this process are already established. Having more methane gas increases its availability for whatever use it would be needed for, making it possible to decrease the cost of methane from what it already is. This means cheaper heating bills among other things.

Vac from the Sea (Not just for mermaids)

“In June of this year the company Electrolux introduced a concept for a vacuum cleaner made of plastic debris collected from marine environments. This initiative, titled the Vac from the Sea, is intended to not only produce a line of eco-friendly vacuums but more importantly to draw attention to the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. The company is working with environmental organizations and concerned volunteers to collect plastic debris from five key marine areas, such as Hawaii, the North Sea, and the Mediterranean. This initiative highlights the issue of plastic pollution and calls for more research and effort towards the use of recycled marine-based plastics. Vac from the Sea will bring together concerned individuals, organizations, and companies with the common aim of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic pollution and putting it to good use.”

Notes & Rationale
– environmental activism
– draws attention to issue
– brings groups of people together toward common goal
– design for an issue instead of use

Taxonomic Categories
– eco-friendly design
– interventionist design
– collaborative design

– land-based recycled plastics vs. marine-based recycled plastics
– purely functional need for a vacuum vs. environmental activism
– business oriented production vs. volunteer oriented production


9, نوفمبر 2010

Everyday, 73 percent of the world’s newspapers are recycled and used to produce new materials such as newsprint.  This is greatly increased from the 30 percent that was recycled back in the 1980’s. With the large amount of resources, more options are opened for the use of the recycled paper. A young designer by the name of Mieke Miejer has invented a new design for wood using many sheets of newspaper. With the combined effort of Vij5 Design Company in Sweeden, Miejer has produced a sustainable material that can be cut and sanded as if it were real wood. The many layers of newspaper create a similar look to the rings in the wood of a tree. The design is resourceful and flips the natural process of making wood to lengthen the usability life of a single tree. The wood is cut and made into paper. After being recycled, the paper is transformed back into wood. The design cycle doubles the use and could potentially cut the amount of trees destroyed drastically.

Categories: Eco-friendly design, resourceful design, company design

Negotiations: Designer and Company Collaboration, urban life versus ecosystem, designer versus resources, and material waste versus invention