Individuals with vision loss are often unable to participate in sustainable practices and initiatives, such as waste disposal, due to the inaccessibility of the current system. When individuals with vision loss acquire waste throughout their day, they must determine whether they should attempt to find a waste unit. This is extremely difficult as there is no standard location/placement for waste units, there is no standard shape or design for the waste units themselves, and there is no standard for sorting garbage, recycling, and organics, across municipalities and institutions. For individuals with vision loss who happen to find a waste unit, they are further challenged with determining the appropriate waste stream for their waste (e.g. garbage, recycling, organics). As a result, persons with vision loss often avoid this process, and either carry their trash with them throughout the day until they are able to find a familiar location to dispose of their waste or, they litter.
To address the problem associated with the inaccessibility of waste disposal in public spaces for individuals with vision loss, STIL Solutions has developed a low-technology system known as the WasteFinder. The WasteFinder is a two-part system which provides both tactile and visual information to assist individuals with vision loss to independently and effectively dispose of their waste in public spaces. Using a concept similar to tactile walking surface indicators (TWSIs), STIL Solutions’ WasteFinder is placed on the ground and is meant to gently alert those who pass over it (e.g. by walking or using a mobility device), that they are in the vicinity of something that they should be aware of. The WasteFinder may be easily differentiated from other TWSIs due to its unique patterns, textures, and colours.