Many grassroots elders in Hong Kong are engaged in waste picking for meagre income in order to survive in the community. They make significant contributions to waste recycling, but they are generally neglected by society. Iron trolley for cardboards recycling is the “working buddies” of elderly waste pickers. “Co-designing an Iron Trolley for Cardboards Recycling” is one of the Action Projects. The aim of the project is to pool together efforts from different parties to re-design the work trolley used by waste pickers in order to reduce their work strain, increase their work safety and uphold their dignity.
Seat belts can be tightened with traps made from upcycled tures to increase the efficacy to fasten cardboards.
The foldable extensional frame help to stabilise and maintain balance of the cardboards.
Roller tracks for lifting up to kerbs
Granny Orchid is a relatively high collection capacity waste picker. In addition to cardboards, she also recycles styrofoam boxes, scrap metals. Granny Orchid’s acts are mainly in the Chun Yeung Street Market. She usually collects styrofoam boxes and cardboards outside the shops and temporarily gathers the recyclables in the corner of the street. Later in the day, she carries the recyclables to the recycling station for sale. Her daily route is moving eastward along Java Road, about 450 meters, passing two intersections. How Granny Orchid used the Recycling Trolley is different from the original design intents. She walks through the main road side by side with cars. The road section is relatively flat without needing to climb up to kerb. However, she likes to work with two trolleys at the same time, pushing the Recycling Trolley in the front with one hand and pulling another trolley at the back.
Mr Chan and Mrs Chan work in the back alley of a fruit shop. They are responsible for collecting cardboard papers or waste plastics from the fruit shop and transport them to a recycling station nearby. The whole recycling journey for Mr Chan is about 450 meters, turning from Ma Tau Wai Road to Wuhu Street and then to Bulkeley Street. The process involves three turns. Mr Chan usually chooses to walk on the main road.
The road sections used by Mr Chan in To Kwa Wan are not flat, but slight bulge in the middle and are oblique along the roadsides and corners. Therefore, Mr Chan thinks that the front wheels of the Recycling Trolley cannot be rotated too easily.
Ms Au is the waste Picker in Kwai Fong
She was invited to test the Recycling Trolley from March 19 to July 2, 2020
Ms Au in Kwai Fong works every day on Che Fong Street, sorting the trash dumped by the nearby shops. The recyclables include cardboards, styrofoam boxes and some metal recyclables. As the quantity and price of the cardboards are low, she often stores them for several days until a significant volume for selling to recycling station. Her recycling route runs from Che Fong Street to Hing Shing Street along the Hing Fong Road to the recycling station. The whole journey is about 620 meters. Most of the time, she chooses to walk through the main road and cross a cars-only conjunction.
The route of Ms Au is mainly on main roads. Her usage of the Recycling Trolley was different from the original design intent. According to the observations, we found that Ms Au did not solely recycle cardboard papers. She recycled all kinds of sundries, including clothes, metal and plastics etc.. She later used the trolley for storage only.