Playful Litter Bin - Pure Pixel


This university module was all about making something different playful. My idea was to create an interactive bin for public spaces to encourage people to dispose of their rubbish correctly instead of littering. The idea sprung to mind when I was gazing out of my accommodation window. I was disheartened about the amount of rubbish left in the streets.


Once I was set on designing a playful litter bin and after sketching a few initial ideas I researched into what already existed. My main inspiration was from an installation near the River Thames in London by Maria Arceo which used litter as a form of art to convey how polluted the water is.


I designed various forms for the bin and interactive playful game. I created a mock-up of the game user interface using Adobe Photoshop and the bins were model in SolidWorks. The chosen concept was accessible from both sides, powered by solar panels and easy to empty.


The bin has three different sections for general waste, mixed containers and mixed paper. This can easily be identified through the graphic labels. However, at this stage I thought that the labels didn’t relate to the interactive game. The newer labels included coloured pixels which were relatable to the game.


The bin works by scanning the main colour of the rubbish placed inside to generate a hex code pixel. This pixel could then be placed anywhere on the grid using the built-in touchscreen. Each item of rubbish would be worth one pixel. If the user was in a rush and didn’t use the interaction their pixels would be stored for another user who wants to have more of an input.


The idea was to have multiple bins around one city which would be linked together over a local area network and to a lager screen. This would allow the community to produce a piece of artwork made up of all the pixels generated from disposing of their litter correctly.


Here is another bin located in a differnt part of the city with a user interacting with the playful element. The games progress is concurrent across all the bins and the pixel artwork can be viewed on the smaller touchscreen as well as the major big screen.

Game & User Interface

Pure Pixel’s game is enabled between 6am and 9pm and it can still be used as a normal bin out of these hours. Once the pixel grid has been filled it will display the artwork for an hour before resetting to a new canvas. The name ‘Pure Pixel’ comes from keeping the city clean (pure) and the technological interaction of placing pixels as a playful incentive.