DESIGN_Waste labs is a waste processing system that revolves around creating a new scheme for the local collection, processing and transformation of waste.
The idea is to create a series of local waste facilities that would offer free collection of recycling waste from small businesses and transform it into functional products for the public use. This project is based around the idea of viewing waste as a resource.
Diana Simpson Hernandez, a Mexican London based designer, is interested in looking at local resources and waste materials to produce alternative economies at local level to empower small businesses and communities. The first Waste lab initiative is the Glass lab.
Glass lab is a system of waste glass collection and processing for small businesses in London: it collects glass waste for free from enrolled businesses in the local vicinity and uses the glass as raw material for the manufacturing of products for the public sector.
The collected glass bottles are crushed on site and graded into fine, medium and coarse. These grades are used with vegetable bio-resin as binder to produce strong and weather proof products, such as light bollards, tiles and street furniture. The Glass lab is a local system that uses little energy to transform local waste into useful public products.
The project developed from analising the Mayor of London’s Business Waste strategy and realizing that there is a big gap in the collection of recycling waste for small businesses. 42% of SMEs claimed they do not recycle due to a lack of services from their local authority. Since 99% of London’s enterprises are small and medium businesses, it means that there is a huge need for a fresh approach to waste management and for new waste services to cater for small businesses. According to this policy , by the year 2050, 70% of the worldwide population will live in cities. This will bring enormous challenges for local authorities and public services. More importantly, it will require a dramatic change in our relationship with waste.
Photo © 2013 Diana Simpson Hernandez