About This Live Project

Sheffield Homes is an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) set up and owned by Sheffield City Council to manage council housing in Sheffield. As our client, Sheffield Homes offered us a list of potential project briefs for us to choose from, all of which deal with important issues and concerns regarding the current council housing stock in Sheffield. Our group decided to embark upon developing innovative solutions to address the important issue of waste disposal in flatted council estates. Our hope is that our efforts can offer strong design initiatives on the topic whilst creating awareness and incentive on the importance of recycling and proper disposal of household waste.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Stocking up!

Having decided to concentrate on devising an effective waste management strategy for Sheffield Homes we were presented a comprehensive brief focusing on recycling in Sheffield Homes’ tenement housing stock. Sheffield Homes’ brief highlights the extent of current recycling/waste management issues defining the housing typologies we are encouraged to investigate (with existing examples), these include:

1. Deck access flats & maisonettes with communal rubbish chutes/Greenland Estate, Darnall & Busk Meadows

Greenland estate is situated adjacent a busy dual carriageway and contains three-storey blocks of single-storey flats. Ground floor flats are provided a traditional black bin as well as a blue bin. The subsequent flats above rely on chutes with no distinction between domestic and recyclable waste. Although there is no visible recycling provision for individual flats it is possible they are provided with baskets inside their flats for paper and card.

The blocks of Greenland estate enclose a large communal green/play area. In this communal zone there is a recycling bank with bins for glass and cans these appear to be intermittently used.

Busk Meadows is almost identical to Greenland however is in desperate need to renovation, chutes are blocked, doors and windows to communal staircores are burnt, rusty or just none existent. Despite having greater variation of recycling options than Greenland fly tipping is far greater at Busk Meadows with amenity space adjacent bin stores covered with litter.

2. Multi-storey blocks with individual bin chutes/Leverton Towers, Hanover Way

Traditionally, Sheffield’s multi-storey tower blocks were designed with chutes running through balconies of individual flats. This became problematic as maintenance workers found it difficult to access certain flats to clear blockages. As a result usage of these chutes has been discouraged (as the council cannot block the chutes) in favour of using large bins provided outside the towers. Maintenance workers encounter fly tipping in corridors or around the estate and essentially it is perceived residents contribute very little to recycling banks rather the maintenance workers take it upon themselves to separate recycling from domestic waste.

The renovated tower blocks at Netherthorpe are of the same typology as Leverton but the re-cladding of these blocks has incorporated balconies to provide additional area for the flats as a result the original chutes are now inside these flats. We aim to take a look around one of these flats sometime this week to discover what alternatives are provided and how the existing chutes are concealed.

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