Talkin' Trash is a collaboration facilitated by AIGA Minnesota's Design for Good initiative. Using a formal design thinking process, we addressed a community issue — the fact that compost makes up only 3% of solid waste in Hennepin County, when roughly one-third of all trash is compostable. Yikes! We did our research with Hennepin County before deciding that an awareness campaign would need to be the first step to increasing composting rates.
Focusing on the city of Minneapolis, we brought composting to one of the summer's largest community events, the Walker Art Center's International Cat Video Festival. We took to the festival armed with compost bins, which we turned into "Compost Cats," a 5-foot display of catty garbage-themed phrases, and a pair of experts trained by the county to answer the really tough questions.
We spoke with event vendors beforehand to encourage them to use compostable food containers and educated festival-goers about what was compostable and what was not as they approached the trash areas.
Talkin' Trash was overseen by Sandy Wolfe Wood and led by Emily Brownson and Kelli Fox. Contributors to the project included Chris Harrison, Katherine Lamb, Catherine Ensch and myself.