The UW campus is an incredibly vast community that produces large quantities of waste every day. Fortunately, the campus has has adopted many sustainable alternatives to deal with packaging materials, however much of this material is incorrectly disposed of. A lack of knowledge regarding proper waste disposal of these materials leads to waste contamination. This means that almost 90% of the contents of trash bins could have either been recycled or composted which costs the university thousands of dollars as trash is almost three times as expensive to dispose of than compost while recycling is free. This interactive installation was conceived in order to educate people about proper disposal of these new materials.


Jul 2016–Present


Karen Cheng


The trash installation displays a constant feed of images and animations that indicate how individual items should be disposed. Additionally, scales within the cans allow for a more personal disposal experience. When thrown away, an item's weight is used to calculate the cost of its disposal. The installation then shows how much money the university would save if everyone were to correctly dispose of that item.


One of the biggest offenders when it comes to waste contamination is compostable plastic. Whether it is due to a lack of understanding, or the inability to recognize it, people often incorrectly recycle or throw out compostable plastics. In order to address this issue I focused on explaining the origins of these plastics, identifying unmarked plastics, and pointing out the various symbols and language used to identify compostable plastics.