Paper Cup Recycling Project

The objective of the partnership between the Coalition for Resource Recovery and CSDS was to develop a system to recycle paper coffee cups. The first phase was centered around a trial that was held at 7 Starbucks stores in Manhattan in the fall of 2009. Aaron Dus, a design researcher, worked with the Interns for Change to develop their observational research skills. The Interns spent periods of two hours over the course of two weeks observing the behavior of customers in the participating stores so that they could determine the effectiveness of the trial and make recommendations for a re-design of the system. Additionally, the same bin was placed in the PI Shop here at Pratt. The interns were limited in the Starbucks stores to only make observations, while at the PI Shop they were able to interview both the staff and customers.

Phase II allowed us to apply what we learned from phase I to a new type of café setting; a school cafeteria. In this phase we designed our own bin system and graphics for application in a café at the New School. Again, we observed the behavior of customers in order to understand the effectiveness, iterate the design, and make recommendations for a next phase. CSDS hopes to continue to develop the design of the recycling system and work in more cafeterias and cafés in New York.

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