China is notorious for its growing trash problem, much of which is trucked out to poor rural villages that are ill equipped to handle the non-biodegradable waste. To help mitigate the environmental impact of the discarded waste, nonprofit architectural practice DOMAT designed an educational waste and recycling prototype for a rural school in Hunan, China. The Hong Kong-based firm was commissioned to design the structure by the Institute for Integrated Rural Development, Hong Kong (IRD), a charity dedicated to working on rural development projects in Baojing County, Hunan Province, China.
Completed in December 2013 in the Wanmeibo Village, the Waste & Recycling Collection Point prototype was created to highlight the environmental problem of waste and to educate children on the consumption process and its negative side effects. Made from concrete, the 118-square-foot structure has separate compartments for waste and recycling. The recycling area is located below, whereas the non-recyclable refuse is dumped through two bins on the upper level, accessible via a flight of stairs.
The designers vertically stacked the waste compartment atop the recycling compartment to make the structure more space-efficient and to create distinct routes for the two different activities. The low-cost facility was funded by the Fu Tak Lam Foundation and was completed for a cost of nearly $2,800.