DIY Human Centered Dustbin ( HCD Bin )


There are multiple bins for segregation of waste, but waste segregation does not occur at source as it is not easy and intuitive.


Colour coded bins are not based on a standard colour coding, hence creating a need for the user to understand the process in all the places s/he go to

They are usually opaque, meaning one cannot know if the segregation is being done correctly

They are short, and not at eye level. This means it gets lost in the midst of people.

HCD Bin Design

  • When the notice on top of the bin indicated that it was meant for another type of waste, the users ignored this. The few who read the notice on top of the bin got extremely confused and in the end, followed the segregation system what the others had followed

  • Mounting our bins on the telephone poles in Church Street increased waste disposal by almost 100%. People could from any point see at least 9 bins on both sides of the road.

  • In one experiment in NH7 (music festival), we put a smashed can of beer into the slot (designed to take paper waste). We noticed that with the transparency, Users noticed this and spent effort smashing their used cans and put it into this partition

Steps to Build

Click here to see steps
  • Take a Carton (Washing Machine etc) and cut out windows as shown. They can be as large as you can make them.
  • Use an acrylic sheet to form the transparent window, as this is a very strong and durable material.
  • Strips of cardboard and plastic tags are used to hold the transparency sheet into place with the carton without leaving spaces/gaps.
  • Steps to fix acrylic sheet to the bin
  1. Cut enough of the acrylic sheet to cover the carton’s front windows from edge to edge.
  2. The plastic is stuck to the carton from the inside with super glue.
  3. 1 or 2 inch strips of carton are cut from weak cartons and stuck on to the acrylic sheet.
  4. Use the drill gun to make holes as shown in the image
  5. Insert plastic tags from inside the bin (take inside to out, and back through the corresponding hole 2 inches away and lock inside tightly).
  • Large opening in the back along with a partition in the centre ensures that waste doesn’t flow out of the outlet and get mixed.
  • Fix a separator inside the box to divide the bin into two making sure that the waste does not mix
  • Large sheets of newspaper are stuck on the carton to make painting on easier. The newspaper does not cover the openings and windows. The papers also give the bin an aesthetic appearance even if the students choose not to paint on the paper.

How to calculate Impact

  • Weigh waste captured in 1 HCD bin after 5 working days of use
  • Divide this weight by 5 to capture daily usage of 1 bin
  • impact = weight of waste captured in 1 HCD bin per day * number of bins * 200 days


Total number of bins implemented in Bangalore & Chennai : 52

Total waste diverted from landfills : 17,817 kgs

  • Data accounted till the year 2019