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Neither a bin nor a bag

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The Ville de Montréal has announced the concept of a new collection tool for recyclable matter to replace the ubiquitous green box that has been used for the past 20 years.

In early 2007, the city's environment and sustainable development branch launched an industrial design competition, in conjunction with the Design Montréal office, and chose three companies (Alto Design, Morelli designers and Claude Mauffette Design Industriel) to present three designs each for an alternative to the present tool.

Following several selection stages, the jury, comprising representatives of the Ville de Montréal and its partners (Éco-entreprises Québec, Recyc-Québec, the Éco-quartiers network, the École de design industriel de l'Université de Montréal, and the Ville de Québec) selected a design by Claude Mauffette.

The 11 jury members, including Marie-Josée Lacroix, design commissioner for the Ville de Montréal and director of the Design Montréal office, chose it for its ergonomic properties (it can be picked up with one hand), its functionality and its large capacity (70 litres).

Made of polyethylene and plastic, the container is a "hybrid: it is neither a bin nor a bag," said Marie-Josée Lacroix. It has two handles, one for the user to carry it and the other for handling by the collector and which automatically opens the lid. The design submitted by Claude Mauffette rectifies two of the primary problems with the present green box: its easy handling and street cleanliness during bad weather.

The design submitted by Claude Mauffette and his assistant, Colin Côté (who holds a Masters degree in Ecodesign from the Université de Montréal), will go through several steps. A prototype will be built this spring, to be tested during the summer of 2008 as part of a project. The final production is expected for the end of the year with distribution to Montréal homes at the beginning of 2009.

The Ville de Montréal has submitted a patent application for this tool with the intention of selling the design to other municipalities.

Translation by Susan Silver

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