Multi-Bin is a customizable household trash bin, designed to maximize storage and optimize trash classification.

Context and Research

The New York City Department of Sanitation [DSNY] has 4 main waste collection streams:

  • Trash
  • Mixed Paper and Cardboard
  • Organics
  • Metal, Glass, Plastic, and Cartons

Previous consumer research conducted by Statista in the United States has identified that one central pain points consumers face when disposing of their trash at home is space limitations to organize their trash.

Statista infographic

This pain point was reinforced when I conducted my own user research and I compiled the persona of Sarah. Sarah lives with 4 other roommates and collects her recyclable materials in plastic bags around her house. Her trash bins fills up quickly resulting in having to take out the trash often and not to compost at home.

The raises the important issue that space and organization issues can deter consumers from participating in recycling and composting programs at home.

Problem Statement

Wire Frame

To get a better sense of scale, I first created a prototype of my design using my limited supply of cardboard boxes. This helped me visualize the height of the bin and gave me ideas on how to make the design look sleek and compact.

Product Design

3-D model animation made on Keyshot 8


  • Stainless-steel built for easy cleaning and maintenance
  • Customizable compartments
    • Easily switch between 2 or 3 compartments to fit the unique needs of your home
  • Bag clips within each compartment to keep your trash bags from slipping and making a mess*
  • A sleek compact foot pedal to open the bin without having to touch the lid.
  • Interior panel on the underside of the lid to hold Multi-Bin’s trash disposal guidelines to ease any confusion when deciding how to dispose a material
  • A side bracket to neatly tuck away flattened cardboard boxes
  • A trash bag dispenser for easy storage and replacement of bags in your bin*

*** Bag clips and trash bag dispenser not shown in model above. Still in progress! ***


Currently, in the market there are trash bins with multiple compartments. However, most “multi-bins” as they are coined usually consist of 2 compartments.

One trash bin that would be in direct competition with the product I am proposing is the following:

Step N’ Sort Multi-Compartment Trash Bin

pros and cons

Venn Diagram

Future Work

  • Design bag clips and trash bag dispenser
  • Create another fidelity 3-D model in Cinema4D
  • Iterate on flyer design
  • Create a prototype out of plywood or an alloy and perform more user testing.
    • Test for assembly, dimensions, ease of use
    • Test if flyers are practical for differentiating materials (have users try to sort trash using the flyers)

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