Student Spotlight: Talking Trash @Eureka Recycling

Green Graphic & Packaging Design

This fall, MCAD’s Master of Arts in Sustainable Design program (MASD) offered the course Packaging Sustainability, which provides a ground level look at applied sustainability. Using something we all touch everyday — packaging — the course gives students firsthand experience with the product selling environment, consumer behavior, marketing, materials and processes, energy, waste, and supply chains. Bringing all of these areas together in a sustainability context, students offer possible solutions for their semester-long project.

Using a packaging project (a product repositioning proposal) as the vehicle for putting the learning objectives into context, students combined online research, live subject studies, and field research as they work toward their proposed solution. Recently, students in the course from around the US, Canada, and Finland were asked to get a firsthand look at what happens after stuff goes “away.”

For the assignment called What a Dump, students were instructed to visit their local recycling facility, and consider the recovery process and how seeing how materials are handled might impact their design decisions. They were also instructed to  ask the facility they’re visiting, ” What would you like designers to know?”

Field Research at Eureka Recycling
Embracing fully the idea that there is no such place as “away” —  Eureka Recycling is a recognized pioneer in materials recovery systems. A “Zero Waste” advocate, Eureka believes that the idea of “away” is just a mindset full of lost opportunities, and that materials not immediately recoverable aren’t just garbage or incinerator fodder, but materials we just haven’t found a better use for yet. Needles to say, Eureka was thrilled to be able to respond to the assignment question, “What would you like designers to know?”
Learn more about Eureka Recycling
Learn more about the book, Packaging Sustainability
Image courtesy of Wendy Jedlicka
Pictured: Theres (Community Outreach Coordinator and our tour guide at Eureka Recycling) with Megan Graham (MASD student), Wendy Jedlicka (instructor), and Mark Chamberlain (MASD student) from the 2016 Sustainable Design program’s Packaging Sustainability course.

Wendy Jedlička

Wendy Jedlička (IoPP/CPP) has a strong background in design, manufacturing, business and marketing. She is an IoPP Lifetime Certified Packaging Professional and is president of Jedlička Design, a packaging design firm specializing in sustainable design and business strategies. Additionally she is co-coordinator in the U.S. for the o2 International Network for Sustainable Design. An internationally recognized speaker, Wendy writes feature articles on applied sustainability for design and business publications around the world, and is the contributing editor of two books for Wiley Publishing: Packaging Sustainability and Sustainable Graphic Design. Wendy is based in Minnesota.