Liquid Capture Bin

The University of Washington in Seattle is one of the most sustainable institutions of higher education in the US. However, a persistent issue on campus is liquid waste. Leftover drinks—coffee, soda, etc.—contaminate recycling and cause leaks.


I joined this project following the initial research phase. The initial research looked to understand the custodial route, a task analysis, and postured whether the design should be a stand alone liquid collection tank or a smaller caddie that could attach to existing disposal cans.


I was in charge of the bin design, how it attached to existing cans and janitor carts, the functional prototyping and usability testing. I left the project before the manufacturing stage of the design process.




10 weeks 

How might we design a liquid collection solution that is mutually beneficial to the students and staff as well as custodians?

Liquid Waste?

Main Problems


Liquid waste in bins causes bag leaks.


Liquid waste ruins recyclables


Disposing of liquid waste is annoying.

What can we do?

Design Goals


The design mustn't alter the schedule or create more work for custodians.


The design must accommodate the wide variety of waste bins and custodial carts across the UW campuses.

How JOJO Works

To avoid extra servicing time, custodians can carry a clean bin on any service cart. The filled bin is exchanged with an empty during the daily servicing run.

Leftover liquids cause leaks and contaminate recycling.
JOJO gives users a way to dispose of their leftover liquids.
JOJO has a strainer that prevents solid waste from entering the bin.
A clean JOJO Bin can be hooked inside any service bin.
Swap the full bin for the clean empty bin during the daily run.
At the end of the shift, JOJO can be rinsed in the standard floor sink.
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Prototyping JOJO

I was responsible for making a functional prototype that could be tested for five weeks in Johnson Hall, a UW building with a history of significant liquid leaks.

The angled drain walls ramp the water out more than it funnels water down. The drain is also too small for all the fluid.
The angled ramp helped with splash back but still takes too long to get rid of the liquid. Good final depth though.
Liquid disappears almost immediately. Little splash back. Only problem is water collects in the holes due to surface tension.
Great. The fluid disappears quickly, and none is left over. The next question is what the bin will look like...
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Mounting JOJO

The working prototype needed two different clips—one to secure JOJO inside a custodial cart,and one to hold JOJO to an existing waste receptacle.

“We love that JOJO is flexible, with clips that can be adapted to the wide range of containers and custodial carts on the UW campus.”

—Liz Gignilliat, Manager, UW Recycling