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New waste-solutions in Copenhagen

Gottlieb Paludan Architects participated in the competition to design Copenhagen's new waste sorting solution with the competition proposal ”Et glimt i øjet” (A twinkle in the eye); a recognizable and welcoming design solution for the streets of Copenhagen.

In November 2019, Copenhagen Municipality organized a design competition in which five teams competed to design the new urban space solutions for sorting household waste. The design of the waste solutions should be characteristic of Copenhagen, similar to the old Copenhagen lamps and the city's benches and waste bins, with their iconic and recognizable character.

The solution will complement the existing system for collecting household waste and will not replace the waste bins for street waste that currently exist in the public space.

The majority of Copenhageners support waste sorting, and since 2012 the amount of household sorted waste has increased from 27 to approx. 45 per cent. A majority in the Technology and Environment Committee has set an ambitious target of 70 per cent. sorted waste in 2024.

The success of waste sorting stands or falls with the citizens who have to sort. In collaboration with Swedish inUse, Gottlieb Paludan Architects has designed waste sorting points which are based on the user experience and user impact. The motivation that citizens already have must be supported by the waste sorting solution. The proposal wants to express cleanliness and hygiene, to be easy to grasp and appealing, to appear robust and well-functioning and at the same time appeal to the citizens’ conscience.

The solution is part of the complex streetscape. Just as the city's towers and spiers have much in common although they are widely different, the elements of the waste sorting solution are created from the same basic geometry. They are visually bound together by common details and the conic circular shape as the common basic feature. The lifting eyes are made of cast iron, which over time becomes the same black-brown color as the street's sewer covers. The base plate is cast in concrete, which is also characteristic of the Copenhagen street floor.

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