Recycling Style

New Victor2™ Recycling System product concept created by two interior designers in collaboration with Steelcase Design combines style with straightforward recycling functionality.

What if designers were able to specify recycling units that look more like stylish furniture pieces than industrial strength garbage bins? As designers respond to rapidly increasing demands for recycling solutions that are appropriate in today’s era of green awareness and commitment, this idea arrives just in time.

The inspiration for the new Victor2™ Recycling System recycling and trash collection system came from current product design trends such as those embodied by Apple, BMW and Nike. Conceptually, the Victor2™ series attempts to strike the same chord with its branded blend of utility and timeless style.

“As with many popular products, it was important to make the series appeal to buyers as a unique functional object and not just another piece of furniture,” says John Cantrell (above right), who designed the Victor2™ Recycling System for HOK Product Design, LLC. “We want the product to be visually stimulating to the point that people in an office will notice and use it. Yet it also needs to fit comfortably into the landscape of everything else found in the built environment.”

The most successful new products fulfill a need. Take a look around a typical workplace and you’ll see recycled materials being collected in all sorts of makeshift containers or even trash cans. The recycling-specific receptacles that do exist usually aren’t attractive, flexible or easy to use.

“We created the Victor2™ for a product market that doesn’t even exist yet,” notes Cantrell. “Other than typical trash containers, there currently is not a great way to handle massive amounts of recycled materials. With Victor2™, we are providing a range of attractive, mobile options for open offices and conference space. It’s an alternative to the afterthought trash can or the built-in, inflexible millwork piece.”

By consolidating trash handling units, the Victor2™ Recycling System allows organizations to use space more effectively and to save time and money on collections.

The Victor2™ market potential is vast. Recycling already is big business, and it continues to grow. In 2008, Americans recovered about 61 million tons (excluding composting) of solid waste through recycling. Waste generated in the billions of square feet of U.S. commercial office and institutional space made up 35 to 45 percent of the materials recycled.

The Victor2™ Recycling System is a compelling example of incorporating eco-sensitive, cradle-to-cradle sustainable design principles into new products, says Tom Polucci (above left). “It’s a great example of how we can create value by designing safe, healthy and ecologically sound products.”

Learn more about Victor2™ Recycling System.