After three months of running the pilot in six different companies in Amsterdam, I finally got the opinion of everyone on paper! And here are the results & analyses! A total of 30 people gave their opinions. There were questions about the proces, the use and the design of the Urbeen.
Half of the people hadn’t heard of worm-composting before their company joined the pilot. Only a quarter of them knew a little bit about this particular proces. I asked them if they might try it at home now that they know about it: ten out of thirty responded positively on this question. Great to inspire people that way!
About the Urbeen itself. Everyone agrees: it’s a sustainable and useful product. 73% of the respondents finds the Urbeen user-friendly but only 40% finds it fun – that’s not a surprise. The design is appreciated by all of the respondents, even 40% finds it extremely appealing! The design of the cover is a tricky one: 20% finds it ugly whereas 30% finds it pretty. Same story for the legs and the drawer.
The user-friendliness of the Urbeen has been validated but there are some noticeable points that could be improved in a 2.0 version. For example the use of the cover. Only 25% finds it handy. One comment that often came was: make a pedal so I can open it with my foot. 90% of the people opens it with one hand and 80% opens it half (they only use the first part of the cover).
The pilot was also a good way to test the compost-proces itself. 66% of the time, the company doesn’t have any odour nor flies in the space. 23% of the time, the people could smell a little bit the bin in the space. In only one company out of the six there was a clear odour around the Urbeen. Two companies have some flies flying around but it isn’t an uniform problem. Flies in the bin is a more common problem: 16% of the people recognised this issue.
These questions and answers gave me great insights: composting isn’t for everyone! Worm composting is something you have to learn. It’s a proces that needs a bit of theory, patience and maintenance. Even when people are enthusiastic, if they don’t look after the bin all the time, it won’t turn out great. That’s a big and interesting fact that the pilot delivered.
One advice I got more than once was about the holes on the cover: why don’t you skip them so flies can’t enter/leave? The pilot gave more insight about the holes: mould can hide itself in the hole. The new design of the Urbeen has therefore been changed a bit: no holes anymore! It won’t affect the flies-problem as much as you think though. Flies come with the food inside the bin. No holes means the flies can only leave when you open the bin. There are some solutions about fly-problem. I’m soon going to try one of them (Fruit Fly Ninja), created by a Dutch guy in Amsterdam. Second design change are the legs: there now made out of bamboo instead of coper. It’s more visual-friendly and found more appealing by a bigger group of people.
The companies mostly enjoyed the pilot. One company quit after a few weeks because it took more time/maintenance than they expected. The proces didn’t go well in their bin and they wanted an outdoor version. So why didn’t I made an outdoor version?
The Urbeen has specially been designed for indoor use. Why? Because all the bins you can find on the market right now are all for outside use. Which is strange since worms are the most active indoor. My vision while designing the Urbeen was to bring this proces into the house so more people can try it. And using plastic was in conflict with the sustainable compost-proces. Using bamboo gives the Urbeen a sustainable vision: sustainable material for sustainable proces. Besides, it gives people a design object with no assimilation to compost – it won’t ruin you home style.
THANK YOU GEWOONBOOT, ACCENTURE, VESTEDA, HOGESCHOOL VAN AMSTERDAM, MARJAN MINNESMA AND NEWNRG FOR HAVING JOINED THE PILOT AND GIVING ME ALL YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE URBEEN!