The selective treatment of municipal waste – a challenge for the architect

Abstract

Contemporary civilisation has an obsession for consuming more and more goods. This, combined with the packaging habbits of suppliers, results in the emergence of increasingly large amounts of waste in Poland. The collection, selection and utilisation of this waste are becoming more and more significant, expensive and logistically complicated problems. In Poland, municipal utilities enterprises are responsible for solving these problems. However, as the space occupied by the collection, storage and disposal of waste is becoming larger, architects and urban planners should also consider being involved in providing solutions. This article presents figures and legal regulations related to the subject of municipal waste management in Poland. They are correlated with the methods of selective waste collection in Polish housing estates. Scientific research that was performed in housing estates is also presented; this research was aimed at checking the quality of existing urban and architectural solutions for municipal waste collection points. The article moves on to present good practices – examples of beneficial solutions for selective waste collection in selected European countries, such as Sweden and Italy. In order to carry out preliminary analyses of how to solve the functional and aesthetic issues related to housing waste collection points as part of the didactic classes at the Faculty of Architecture, of SUT, research exercises were conducted on the subject of developing a concept for new containers in a housing estate. Based on the received work (65 drawings) elements can be noticed that students most often paid attention to. Based on the conducted research and analysis, conclusions were reached regarding the methods of aestheticisation of district selective waste collection points and fundamental problems related to their design.

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