Recycling for Village school

Wanmeibo Village, Baojing County, Hunan

Waste disposal in villages throughout China is a visible, yet neglected issue. As urban influences have spread to rural areas, old habits of dealing with waste haven’t adapted well. Piles of non-biodegradable – largely plastic – waste is often dumped in streams and rivers, or burned within villages. The problems of consumption, disposal and burning will take years to change, but in the meantime what can we do to minimize the environmental impact of the discarded waste?
This project was commissioned by the Institute for Integrated Rural Development, Hong Kong (IRD). IRD is an established charity dedicated to rural development projects in Baojing County, Hunan Province. They wish to highlight the issues of waste within the rural community, and we have been interested in waste and recycling for more than 10 years. We worked together to design and implement a waste collection prototype for a primary school that encourages pupils to engage with the process of consumption and its side effects. The project demonstrates how it is possible to be creative with low-cost design.
The collection point is designed with separate compartments for waste and recycling, with a sloping floor to facilitate hygienic operation. The two compartments are stacked vertically to reduce the footprint; this creates distinct routes for the activities of recycling and dumping, and makes dealing with waste more fun. By separating the disposal and collection processes of waste, we hope to increase the children’s awareness of the flow of the earth’s resources.

December 2013
Initiated By:
The Institute for Integrated Rural Development, Hong Kong
Main Donor:
Fu Tak Iam Foundation
11 sq.m
Site Area:
Maggie Ma, Mark Kingsley