DORM WASTE SIGNAGE

A signage system I conceptualized for one of USF's residence halls to encourage proper waste disposal among students. Incoming freshmen are from a variety of states and countries and may or may not be familiar with the different trash receptacles available in the dorms. From my experience and through numerous interviews, I realized that many of the residents do not know or simply do not think about how to sort their waste. To address the issue, I designed a signage system that would serve as a reminder for students to throw away their trash in the right bins while guiding them in the act of doing so.

The two bins provided for each dorm room. Unfortunately, as I gathered through conversations with current residents, many students end up using the recycling bin for overflow from the regular trash bin and do not sort their trash at all.

 

A little nook in the hallway with separate receptacles for trash, compost, and recycling. The signs above each hole provide useful guides for trash sorting, illustrating what kinds of trash goes where. There is a space like this on every floor. For e-waste, students are asked to bring anything of the sort to the front desk located on the first floor of the building by the main entrance. 

 

A simple mockup of my proposed "wayfinding" system. As a student steps out of a room or walks up and down the hallway, he or she would undoubtedly see these markings on the wall leading to the bins. Though it is hard to imagine that any of the students living in the dorms would actually need help finding the bins, the signage would serve more as a visual reminder that there are appropriate receptacles for their trash, and that they can hold themselves accountable by simply walking down the hall or around the corner, where even if they are confused, they know there is some information posted that can answer any questions they might have. Ideally, after repeating this process on a daily basis, students would develop the habit of sorting their trash and feel good about it too. Individual students can influence their roommates and friends; groups of students can influence the community at large.

 

Additionally, a directory like this could be placed in every dorm room to further promote proper garbage disposal while aiding those students who might not be sure what kinds of trash goes where. It could be placed on the wall as a small placard next to the fire escape maps that are in all the rooms.