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25th July 2013, 8:26am
The recycling bin of the future
Adam Evans A recycling bin fit for our future waste needs has been designed by a Lincoln School of Engineering student.

Second year engineering students at the University of Lincoln, UK, were tasked with creating a recycling bin fit for the year 2020 by Louth-based plastics solution provider, Luxus.

The aim was to encourage tomorrow’s engineers to think sustainably by creating designs to help the plastics and waste industries improve recycling rates.

Adam Evans, 20, from Reepham, Lincoln, was announced the overall winner of the ‘Design4Recycling’ competition.

He said: “It’s been great to work on a design to satisfy a ‘real’ business need. It has definitely helped with my understanding of the entire design process, thanks to its clear focus on both ‘green’ and economic goals. I also found plastics to be a lot more interesting and dynamic than I’d previously thought too.

“My bin features a simple modular design that will enable users to accommodate new materials as recycling capabilities will inevitably expand in the future, so it’s highly sustainable too. It has been designed so it can easily interlock with additional bins as required. Each bin simply slides into the groove of another in various configurations so that they can blend neatly into their environment.

“A key benefit of the design is that it can help tackle the costly problem of waste contamination as different waste streams are effectively kept separate. It is also comprised of just two parts so it’s easy to manufacture and assemble to help keep costs down too.”

Jonathan Lawrence, Professor of Laser Materials Processing at The University of Lincoln, said: “The students really appreciated working on this project with a local industry partner enabling them to broaden their engineering design experience. The brief required thorough research and in-depth thinking to deliver a creative design that also considered everything from impact assessments, manufacturing and assembly to recycling at ‘end of life’. We were all very pleased with the results.”

Terry Burton, Technical Manager, Luxus, added: “We were pleased with the very high standard of work we received. What set Adam’s entry apart was that it was not only thoroughly researched, but it also demonstrated a strong commercial understanding of the markets the finished product would support – in this instance offices and public buildings. With ‘Design4Recycling’ we wanted to encourage engineering students to use their skills to develop designs that could really help solve issues impacting on our industry. This collaboration also provided us, as a local employer, with the opportunity to raise awareness of both our company and plastics as a future career.”

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