Archive | August, 2010

Waste in the city – week 5

31 Aug

Week 5 morning lecturer:

Kerryn Caulfield

(Apical international, TTNA, Composites, NACRO, Filtration & Separation Association)

This morning’s lecturer Kerryn Caulfield who gave us not only an impressive

lecture but also bring up the fact that how serious the waste issues are; she

points out that the waste to landfill has rapidly increased each year, which is

growing even faster than our population. Through her findings she claims that

5 % of landfill is textile waste since it is use in everywhere; on the contrary textile

(clothes) is also easier to apply to other uses by recycle/reuse and regenerate it.

In addition, she also mentioned about how secondhand clothes end up in the

third world country. There has a short documentary Kerryn talked about which

made by an Australian girl, who uses video camera recording how the

secondhand clothing system works in Africa (Zambia). The doco makes me feel

astonishing; I never thought about where will those second hand clothes go

after we give it to charities, this doco “T-shirt travels” tracing the whole process

and tell the story about how those clothes end up their life in the west but

started the second life in Africa. This lecture provides a lot of new information

about the current waste issues which really useful especially for us, who are

studying about the waste subjects.


The afternoon’s lecturer Randall Pearce from Think: Insight + Advice. He

brought out some facts about how people behave and opinion about climate

change. There were few points Randall mentioned which might be the barriers

direct or indirect effects of climate change. I found one of them is particular

interest to me, which indicates that people always obsessed with “new” things. I

think this point is a really important fact that our consumption patterns have a

significant impact on the environment. This makes me think of an event which

launched in this year May in Sydney Bondi called “the garage sale trail”. And

also it was the first time they put on this garage sale in Australia. There were 126

garage sales gathering at that day creating a win-win situation for both seller

and buyer. Furthermore, it allows those secondhand stuffs have a chance to start

the second life not just end up in the landfill, which is a very good idea to have

this kind of event. Although the fundamental way is that we still need to control

our consumption patterns, reuse and recycle stuffs in order to protect our



About individual essay & visual map:

It is now week 5 already so we get a pretty intensive schedule, since the

individual essay is due next week and the group visual map needs to be handed

in the week after. But luckily both my tutors and my group mates have been

really helpful so that I was able to clearly understand the purpose and the aim

of the projects. It also makes a lot easier when I was planning the structure of

my essay.

Rainie and I, both viscom students, have played key roles for our second task-

group’s visual map. We started the task from individual research and brought all

our ideas to the class in order to discuss with our group mates. The efficiency of

our discussion was high. At the end, our group adopted my concept as the major

idea of our infographic, however, still there are some elements needed to be

changed; for instance, I was proposing that the waste percentage could be shown

by using different size of the bins, after our group discussion, however, we

decided that rather then using different size for the bins to represent the waste

percentage, there will be a colour spectrum (red~green) covering on the areas we

researched. In other words, we decided to use colour to represent the waste

percentage instead.

So basically, the major map, with the waste colour spectrum, shows the five

major areas where we conducted our research.  It shows the main businesses

and also the major waste within the areas. There is still some space left at the

bottom of the map, however, since we haven’t yet decided what details are to be

put in so far, the space will be filled in later on.



Youtube 2010, T-Shirt Travels, viewed 31 August 2010, <;.
The garage sale trail 2010, viewed 20 August 2010 <>.

Waste in the city – week 4 (Seminar)

24 Aug

Week 4 Seminar


  1. Emma Synnott, Associate, Sustainability Group, Arup
  2. Dr Damien Giurco, Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS
  3. Jo Kellock, CEO,Council of Textile + Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA)
  4. Dr Helen Lewis, Founding Partner, Sustainable Packaging Alliance
  5. Stephen Ormandy, Director + Co-Founder, Dinosaur Designs

There were 5 speakers doing their presentations in the Seminar today, they using different perspectives through their professional knowledge to discuss about how it related to the waste issues existing in our society. In the seminar they covered quite a lot of interesting topics. Damien Giurco, he is a Research Director at the Institute for Sustainable Futures in UTS, The idea he suggests in his presentation is an ideal model for our society which is “Reduce better than Recycle”- Do not just reduce impact, aim to be restorative. I think what he says is really true. Since I was elementary student, school started to teach us how important recycling is, however, no one tell us reduce our daily waste is even efficiency for protecting our environment. I think what we doing now is “Treat the symptoms but not the root of the problem”. The most effective way is not recycling but reduce it.

Also, the packaging issues cause a lot of environmental problems. Helen Lewis, she is a Founding Partner in Sustainable Packaging Alliance. Her presentation is about “Sustainable Packaging”. In fact, many small business or big organization they are noticing the packaging issue and they also trying to minimizing product waste in order to help to reduce this problem. Some examples Helen mentioned in her speech are interesting. For instance- Target compostable carrier bag. Plastic bags are always a big problem for our environment, for the reason that it is cheap, convenient, and easy to carry but it is not easy to decompose in landfill. People increasingly realize how bad it impact on our environment. There has a good example that In Taiwan the government trying to reduce this plastic bags crisis. Since 2006, The Taiwanese government stipulates that the store can not provides plastic bags, consumer needs to prepare their own bag or if they really need bag they need to purchase from store, also, in some of the cities they only can use compostable bag as their garbage bag, it’s easy to purchase from the shop. In Australia, I notice there has many green bags selling in supermarkets or stores, but I found the most of people still using plastic bags. I think no matter what bag you are using even is plastic bag, “Reuse it”!!! it will helps a lot for reduce the plastic bags issue for our city.

Overall, The seminar was instructive especially for us who are currently doing the research about- the waste problems in our city area. It is a really interesting lesson that I think through their information we can have more thoughts about how the waste problems existing in our city.

Waste in the city- Research (Survey)

21 Aug

We creates the Survey form for our site reseach task, since my research area is at the Sydney fish market,those customers are the majority people in this area, thus, there has an another survey which targeted at customers/visitors in fish market.

Survey-  for the shops:

  • What do you throw into your rubbish bin?
  • What recycling facility do you have?
  • How often do you recycle? (Week)
  • What product do you recycle?
  • What percentage of your waste do you recycle?
<25% 50% ish 75%<
  • Do you ever put plastic bags/ Styrofoam in the recycling bin?
  • What products do you throw away the most?

(E.g. Food scraps, bottles, cardboard box, Styrofoam…etc.)

Survey- for visitors & customer:

  • As a customer/visitor, do you think the shops in sydney fish market doing well for recycling?
  • What sort of waste you think is the most serious issue within in the Fish market area?
  • Do you ever put plastic bags/ Styrofoam in the recycling bin?

Waste in the city – week 3 (PLASTIKI)

18 Aug

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Week 3 lab was a very special experience that we got a chance visited PLASTIKI

in the Maritime museum, this boat made of 12,500 plastic bottles and crossing

pacific from San Francisco and finally reached Sydney, It took PLSTIKI 154 days

to finished this challenge mission. They doing this were not just for fun but they

are trying to raise the plastics issues to remind people how serious the waste

problem existing in our world, also, they proved that products are reusable;

hence, I think it is possible that the global warming problem can be retarded if

everyone can pay more attention to the waste issues, reduce their daily waste,

recycle their trash, and also trying to reuse products. Moreover, designer also

playing an important role that if every designers can put more efforts and

trying to design a product that doesn’t need to be recycled but it can be reuse

which will be really help to ease off this serious issues.



There was an appealing advertising campaign made by BRITA, a German

company they are well-known of selling water filtration products. In 2008, they

raised this plastic water bottle campaign, the slogan says “last year 16 million

gallons of oil were consumed to make plastic water bottles.” Which they put up

the issue that the plastic water bottles is the most unnecessary waste products in

today’s society, but people still generated huge amount of plastic water bottles

every year. (In those 154 days PLASTIKI is above the sea, there have 9240

million plastics bottles were used in State).


This plastic water bottle issue is also motioned by Anne Leonard, in her short

film “The story of Stuff”. Which is really good to look at the issue from her

perspectives. “ The Story of Stuff” can be viewing via Youtube

<;. (21 minutes)

I’m not quite sure the motivation behind this BRITA campaign, were they really

care about this issue or they just wanted to build up their reputation in order to

take advantage from this?! However, I feel that we should focus on plastic waste

issues, try to figure out how can we reduce this serious problem. I think it will

be a good idea that reuses your plastic bottle; refills from water fountain or

always take your own drink bottle with you. We never knew that if we can save

one plastic water bottle, it would make a lot of differences for our environment.


For me, I am always bring my own drink bottle with me, which my bottle is the

bonus when I purchased the BRITA filters,  I think at this point BRITA is doing

well for the “mygreenbottle” concept, since a well-design bottle will makes

people want to “use” it more often, hence, and I guess it is also a kind of

marketing strategy for their company, but, it indeed, have some positive impacts

towards our environment.





Adventure Ecology 2010, PLASTIKI, viewed on 18th August 2010, <;.

Youtube 2010, Story of Stuff, Full Version; how things work, about stuff, viewed on 10th August 2010, <;.

(visual reference)- BRITA ad. campaign

Green Blog 2008, Plastic water bottle advertising campaign from Brita, viewed on 16th August 2010, <;.

Waste in the city (About research- Site revisit)

17 Aug

::week 2::

Research- site revisit (16th Aug 2010)

Where: Pyrmont Bridge Rd. & Bank St.

(This area is a combination of Business and Residences)

So far my research is focused on the fish market area, but I think it will be good idea to also include some records from surroundings. Therefore, I went back to Pyrmont Bridge Rd. & Bank St. (the fish market is located on the corner of these two streets) to see if I can dig up more useful information.

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Bank Street side: (a flyover above the Bank street)

  • Tram Stop
  • Pyrmont Concrete Plant
  • Channel 10
  • Cruises
  • City West Child Care Centre
  • Seafood suppliers
  • Food Services
  • Convenient Store
  • Restaurant
  • Residential Area

Pyrmont Bridge Road:

  • Commercial Design Centre
  • Park
  • Scrap Place (metals: ship, trashes: bottle, paper…etc.)
  • Concrete Batching Plant
  • Residential Area

This area is a traffic artery with many trucks and cars especially in the business hours. Although this area is mix business & residential area but I couldn’t see many people walk on the street, also there has not many rubbish bin on the street, but I could see some of plants and business they have own big rubbish bins inside their place.

Waste in the city – week 2

14 Aug

The 2nd week’s lab was started from a lecture which presented by Kath McLaughlin who is a Sydney waste education officer. The lecture was instructive and interesting.

Australia is the 2nd biggest “waste” country in the world; especially “food” waste is the most serious issue. This is a common matter in the most developed countries; people usually buy more than they need, thus, I think this is everyone’s duty to keep the best recycling practice to maintain a sustainable environment for not only us but also for the later generations.

In the lecture Kath shows a slide which is an inverted triangle chart indicates that if people can carry out these steps- Avoid + Reuse + Recycle + Landfill our waste would be towards “0”. Moreover, in an official statistics number which Kath shows us says 70% of waste can be recovered and 30% goes to landfill. I doubt that if this result can come true or this idea is only existed in Utopia?

It is essential for us to uncover what is the major problem that existed in our society, in order to further improve the current circumstance. It’s reminds me that there has a famous animation film called “ The Story of Stuff” narrated by Anne Leonard which talks about the life-cycle of the material good in American society, however, I think the issue she raises is not only occurred in State but it’s happening in the most developed countries.

In present society our mass consumption is definitely related to the existing waste phenomenon. This subject is truly aroused my curiosity about the waste issues in our society. In addition, Kath mentioned about designer also can use their special skills to reduce the problem by using recyclable materials when they design the product package; this fact is stimulates me to become an eco-designer in the future. I desired to discover more useful information through our research in this subject, I’m sure that will be a valuable experience that helpful for my future study.


“ The Story of Stuff” can be viewing via Youtube <;. (21 minutes)

Youtube 2010, Story of Stuff, Full Version; how things work, about stuff, viewed on 10th August 2010, <;.

Waste in the City – week 1

4 Aug

designing sydney

Week One

People produced rubbish everyday but not everyone would think about how to control the amount of the trash (by recycling, or reusing it). This subject helps us to know how is the material waste managed in our city, and what we can do to reduced the waste we generate.

In the tutorial, we work as interdisciplinary teams which provides us a good opportunity to communicate with other design students, and find out what can we contribute to our class or group.

My group is composed of a fashion student – Courney, an interior student – Patrick, an industrial student – Vanessa, and two viscom students – Rinaie and me. Everyone in my group is friendly and I think this will be a really good experience that we can work together in one group to achieved our task.

Our group’s research area is around Ultimo & Pyrmont: Each of us picks up one street to do the research individually, in order to detailing the difference or similarity of waste situation within in the area we in charge with.

About my Research:

The street I’m in charge with is called: BANK ST.

google maps 2010, viewed on 6th Aug 2010,<;.

Which is also where the fish market is located(on the corner of Pyrmont Bridge Rd. and Bank St.).

First time visiting Bank St. I focused my research on the fish market, which is the placed easily to discover waste cases.

Date & Time: Friday, 6th Aug 2010, 2:30 pm

2 O’clock in the afternoon people still having lunch in the fish market, I could see a lot of waste of seafood on table after people finished their meal but there has not much trash in the shop garbage bin yet. (maybe.. in the morning or after those shops closed would be a better time to investigate the waste situation?)

2nd time visited fish market

Date & Time: Monday, 9th Aug 2010, 4:30 pm

Around 5 pm Monday all the shops in the fish market are closed, therefore, it is a good chance to find out if they have waste situation through their garbage bin.

I found that the most of shop they don’t sorting their trash before they throw them into the waste bin.  (broken styrofoam, dirty cardboard boxes, plastic bags are all dumped into the same garbage bin with many leftovers inside)

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I believe that there should be a lot of waste seafood in the most of shop’s trash bin, as there has many birds are trying to search food from the bin, I saw some birds are even fly out from bins, holding prawn or fish by their bills.

I think I should revisit to fish market in different time to see if I can find out more information within that spot; also, I think is a good idea to visit the surrounding area to find out if there has more business or residential area which help for my research data.