Pictured: pRecycle, a human-powered, aluminum can crushing machine designed by a group of industrial design students at the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Ben Bush, their professor, [provides] an explanation of how Louisiana’s local culture has informed the project.

Core77: Tell us about “pRecycling,” and the impetus behind the pRecycle.
Ben Bush: “pREcycling” is a term that we use to describe the sorting of recyclables before they are sent to a reclaiming facility. We have been seeking ways to recycle aluminum, plastics, and in the future paper. Food and drink contamination along with improper sorting are a few of our biggest issues. Special vessels and the can crusher are our latest rendtion of “pREcycling efforts.”

The initial driving force behind “pREcycling” was to create a business venture out of recycling. Louisiana has a giant festival culture and for good reason—it’s the best food in the world! Louisiana has more than 400 festivals a year, [with most involving] food or drink. A local business owner heavily encouraged us to create concepts that would be more proficient for recycling at festivals.

Essentially, if we can get patrons to sort their goods, we won’t have to send a conglomerate of recyclables to a sorting facility. Most cities like Lafayette and New Orleans send their recyclables to Baton Rouge for processing. Baton Rouge is an hour from both Lafayette and New Orleans and we know that keeping the service local would have less impact on the environment.

 More: Feedback Friday: ID Professor Ben Bush on the pRecycle - Core77