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Zane Middle School recyclable cleaning station

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Revision as of 02:01, 4 May 2015 by Coellomerissa (Talk | Contributions) (How to Build)

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Sample photo caption.


Our team, Porta Possibilities, consists of four Humboldt State University Environmental Resources Engineering students. For our Engineering 215 Design class, we were given the opportunity to work with a local school, Zane Middle School, and improve their process of recycling. Our project was to improve the process that was currently in place of cleaning the recyclables from the school's cafeteria.


Zane Middle School currently uses 5 gallon buckets and a simple cart to wash and transport recyclables throughout the facility. This project will focus on creating a new more portable and durable means of processing the wastes produced by the schools cafeteria.

Problem Statement and Criteria

The aim of this project is to create a more durable, transportable, and safe cart to enhance the recycling workflow for staff at Zane Middle School.

Criteria Weight
Portability 10
Durability 10
Stability 9
Safety 9
Ease of Cleaning 7
Upcycled 6
Aesthetics 6

Figure 1(above): Client Criteria Listed by Weight.

Description of Final Project

Our final project is a cart that is built for durability, transportability and efficiency. With a stainless steel sink, pneumatic tires, front-axle steering, and steel reinforcement, the SmartCart is designed for maximum durability and portability.

A fully functional sink basin is operated at a reasonable height, which limits the amount of bending and stress on one's back.


The Pneumatic tires and front-axle steering make for easy and quiet transportation, and provides a great turn radius.


Steel reinforcement makes the SmartCart stable, strong, and durable.



The amount of hours spent by Porta Possibilities for the SmartCart is shown in a pie chart demonstrated in Figure 2. The pie chart is split up into the 6 Sections of the document. Building hours are included in the Section 6. About 60 hours of the 85 hours in Section 6 are building hours. A total of 169 hours was spent on the SmartCart.

Costinhours-2appro Chart1.jpg

Figure 2(above): Time spent for the SmartCart.

All the materials used in building the SmartCart are recorded below in Table 1. Each item is accompanied by the amount used in the SmartCart, the retail cost, and the team cost. Multiple items were donated as reused materials and reduced the team cost by around $200. A total of $240.16 was spent by Porta Possibilities on the SmartCart, using $459.86 worth of materials.

Table 1: Material Cost

Item Quantity Retail Cost Our Cost
Sinks 1 84.00 Donated
Garden Wagon 1 81.55 81.55
Clip Tension 1 3.99 3.99
Paint (Cans) 2 48.59 48.59
Lid 1 40.00 Donated
Lid Handles 2 9.98 9.98
Edge Tubing (feet) 8 1.52 1.52
Lid Seal 1 10.00 10.00
Sink Insulation (Cans) 2 13.98 13.98
Drainage System 1 70.55 70.55
Steel Legs 6 86.70 Donated
Total Cost 450.86 240.16

Testing Results

To be edited!

How to Build

Required Materials:

  1. Restaurant grade sink
  2. Garden Cart (or other cart with pneumatic wheels on an axle)
  3. Steel corner bars (17" long) [6]
  4. Hoses (and appropriate sink attachments)
  5. Sink drain strainers
  6. Wooden Lid
  7. Rubber tubing (used as lid sealant)
  8. Plastic tubing (used as liner on sharp edges)
  9. Metal cylinders[3]
  10. Tension clip
  11. Paint
  12. ABS cement glue
  13. ABS piping with appropriate corners,valves, etc.
  14. 5 gallon bucket
  15. Tension Clip
How to Build the SmartCart
IMG 2002.jpg Step 1: Paint Base Cart(once dry, proceed to next step)
IMG 1917.jpg Step 2: Assemble Base Cart
IMG 1927.jpg Step 3: Weld steel bars together(legs of sink)
IMG 2002 2.jpg Step 4: Paint Legs, if rusty use primer!!(once dry, proceed to next step)
IMG 1935.jpg Step 5: Drill bars into basecart
IMG 1947.jpg Step 6: Drill steel bars into sink
Step 7: Attach metal cylinders in corner of sink area to hold the circumference of the 5 gallon bucket
IMG 2026.jpg Step 8: Paint Lid(once dry, proceed to next step)
Step 9: Attach handles to lid
IMG 2048.JPG Step 10: Attach weather stripping to underside of lid to act as suction seal for the lid
P1010072.JPG Step 11: Attach plastic tubing with ABS cement glue to any sharp edges of for safety
IMG 2030.JPG Step 12: Assemble Drainage System
P1010076.JPG Step 13: Attach tension clip to sink to hold wagon handle

Discussion and Next Steps

To be edited!


to be edited

Project Goals

  1. Create a very durable cart to wash recyclables before recycling
  2. Improve ease of portability of the cart
  3. Enhance the workflow of the recycler
  4. Improve the overall experience of recycling wastes produced by the school's cafeteria


The final design includes a restaurant grade stainless steel sink( with three sinks) for durability and ease of maintenance as well as a garden cart with pneumatic wheels on an axel for portability needs. The sink is attached to the cart with steel bars to elevate the sink and for reinforcement. The sink is equipped with a suction sealed lid for insulation and safety. Rubber hosing is attached to the underside of the sink drains for ease of disposal of used water. Metal mesh is fastened to the bottom of the cart to be used as a drying rack for washed materials. All the sinks are equipped with strainers to catch any unwanted food matter.

Contact details

Isaiah Duarte - Merissa Coello - Erin McDannold - Brent Davis -