New E-Waste Bin May Hit NYC

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Valiant Technology recently announced the winners of its “Design The 4th Bin” competition. Based on a New York City law which prohibits electronic waste disposal in everyday trash, the competition challenged designers around the globe to create  a public domain e-waste logo and collection bin.

Respondents ranged from design students to internationally recognized industrial designers and architects, according to ITBusinessNet.com.

The winning design incorporates an expanding bin and RFID tags for maximum efficiency. Photo: 4thbin.org

The winning design incorporates an expanding bin and RFID tags for maximum efficiency. Photo: 4thbin.org

According to the The 4th Bin Web site, the bin “is to be the means by which e-waste is responsibly collected. Our intent is to see a clearly labeled 4th bin placed centrally in every building in New York City, and eventually all across the country.”

The winning project, designed by Springtime in Amsterdam, took the cake based on its accessibility, ease of use and security features, utilizing a vibrant color scheme and RFID tags to make it both usable and safe.

The bin is intended to stand in the common recycling area for apartment and office buildings. The facility manager regularly moves the recycling containers to the curbside and just does the same with the 4th bin when it is full.

A transmitter and a sensor in the 4th bin alerts the recycling company when it is moved [...] so the recycling company can customize the pickup routes and work more efficiently.

Some of its features include:

  • Expanding nature utilizes space effectively, allows a low drop for fragile electronics and gives visual feedback as to the capacity of the bin.
  • An RFID locking system that ensures only residents with a valid RFID tag can open the bin.
  • Only a special access tag will unlock the wheels.
  • The main material is Biopregs®, an environmentally friendly biocomposite that can be folded to create the two main parts of the bin.

The winning logo is reminisent of a face, while incorporating recycling arrows and a plug to indicate e-waste. Photo: 4thbin.org

The winning logo is reminiscent of a face, while incorporating recycling arrows and a plug to indicate e-waste. Photo: 4thbin.org

Public Domain Logo

The winning logo design, created by Two Twelve in New York City, uses “a modern interpretation of arrows in rotation to create the perimeter of an electrical outlet” that “creates an immediate connection between electronics and recycling,” according to the 4th Bin Web site.

The site continues to explain that this “recognizable” symbol should not only be memorable, but easily applied to paraphernalia such as t-shirts, totes and more to increase public awareness of the symbol.

A National E-Waste Law?

Along with New York City’s efforts to reduce electronic waste, these announcements are part of a growing trend of nationalizing electronics recycling.

Last week, leaders from Best Buy Co., Inc., Minnesota’s electronics recycling industry and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) unveiled proposed federal legislation that seeks to improve the recycling of electronics across the U.S.

The Electronic Device Recycling and Research and Development Act is the first step in bringing together manufacturers, retailers, recyclers and research institutes to help find solutions to the problem of e-waste.

If passed, the bill would:

  • Create competitively-awarded grants for universities, government labs and private industry to research and develop demonstration projects for recycling, reuse, refurbishment and life-cycle analysis
  • Call for a study by the National Academy of Science to look at barriers and opportunities to increase electronic device recycling and reduce the use of hazardous materials in electronic products
  • Direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make grants available for curriculum development for engineering students and professionals in electronics manufacturing, design, refurbishing and recycling industries.

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