EcoTrio, Commercial Recycling Bins, are smart recycling bins that can be placed on the streets and be conveniently used by the public in general. The intent of their manufacturer EcoTrio, is to market these products globally, in cities that are ecologically aware.
It was while working as an architect at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP in Chicago, that Deborah Kang became aware of a competition by a work colleague, who was spearheading the competition as the YAF co-chair (Young Architects Forum) affiliated with the AIA (American Institute of Architects).
The competition was called “reThink / reDesign / reCycle” and it asked participants to submit a proposal for an ecologically intelligent recycling receptacle for the streets of Chicago.
Over 130 entrants registered worldwide for the competition. 25 entrants were short-listed for the second phase of the competition and were given only a month to produce a prototype and then presented them in Chicago’s Daley Square, on August 19, 2005. The prototypes were judged anonymously by a panel of seven judges: architects, designers, waste management professionals and City staff – the first place was awarded to EcoTrio by Mayor Daley and the AIA President.
EcoTrio, LLC was formulated in 2005 and is currently selling ‘The Street’ version in two finishes: stainless steel with a brushed satin finish and carbon steel powder coated in sparkle silver, for indoor use.
It is seen that the bane of city dumps is trash which has not been segregated. It is also noticed that people may separate trash in their own houses but when it come to a public place they are tempted to discard waste quickly without giving much thought to go looking for the apt receptacle for a particular piece of trash. Often times the nearest trash bin is used and mixed waste that is both time consuming and polluting to treat is created. Once garbage is neatly segregated, composting and recycling programs help in keeping garbage out of landfills or incinerators. This is where EcoTrio scores as it offers a simple and easy solution to segregating waste in the neatest way possible. Individuals whilst using this solution can walk tall as they will have done their duty as responsible eco-conscious individuals.
The EcoTrio is elliptical in shape and has three compartments; one is for papers (newspapers, paper, magazines), one is for containers (plastic, glass bottles, steel and aluminum cans) and one can hold biodegradable trash. The EcoTrio® lid and side openings are interchangeable to allow flexibility.
Following the competition and EcoTrio’s win in Chicago,the City of Chicago provided a grant (with help from Mayor Daley) and with this grant EcoTrio®, LLC, AIA and the City of Chicago produced 11 containers which are currently installed in the Millennium Park, Chicago. Subsequently, eight months later, EcoTrio’s Millennium Park design called “The Millennium” won the “2008 Good Design Award, Environment”.
Each container in this park showcases a plaque to commemorate the competition and reminds the 5 million annual visitors that pass through the park each year, the evolution of this container and how it came to be. EcoTrio, LLC was formulated two months following the win and owns three design patents, one for ‘The Street’ Original design, the other ‘The Millennium’ which is currently in Millennium Park, Chicago and ‘The Food Court’ which is the largest commercial use product.
Looking at the success with awards and recognition it will not be long before more cities, the world over will adopt EcoTrio’s source-separated waste program. The sad tale of the many complications and permutations that involve garbage disposal in the modern age may finally see a silver lining.
Text Compiled By Mala Bajaj