Be Your Environment

The ground was overwhelmed with cans, plastic and glass bottles, amongst other rubbish. Stephen Corcoran remembers the moment well. “Music festivals had shifted from being a place to walk bare foot, to a place where safety boots would be advisable”.

It was 2009, Electric Picnic. Stephen was working as an installation artist and began kicking the rubbish into piles, so he could walk from one stage to the other. A pile for drink cans; one for plastic bottles and another for glass bottles. The next day he noticed that the path had remained clear. Something remarkable happened, the segregated piles had mounted. The behaviour became contagious, and partygoers had naturally followed his lead. “Then it hit me, they [partygoers] would recycle if they had a specific area”, he explains.

Stephen shudders when you use the word rubbish. “Appreciation of material starts with the language we use. Waste implies it’s no longer required”.


The Dirty Truth

A lack of responsibility from all the major waste companies is not helping the recycling efforts. They continue to work with an existing broken system of Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), waste to energy (burning), landfill, and shipping overseas. 

Since his revelation, Stephen travelled across countries in Asia where he worked with local people and learnt about our biggest export to them, rubbish. These places were severely impacted with no infrastructure.

Inspired, Stephen got to work, his love for art and passion for recycling came together and he developed the optimal light weight, flexible vessel capable of retaining 100% of materials for festival art-cycle workshops. A term he coined, for using waste material for art.

It is clear that single stream recycling and education powered by art, is the only way to close the recycling loop.

Let’s lose the vernacular: general waste; rubbish; garbage; trash, litter, and sewage, because there is no such thing as waste.

The Solution

A Clean Solution

NiftyBins™ infrastructure came about as a direct response to rescuing clean materials for art projects (ArtCycle Material Bank) at the music festivals at the family BYEco Camping site. In 2012 whilst in India, Stephen began experimenting with a flexible bin system that people would understand universally.

The successful recovery of materials also enabled NiftyBins™ to become the first separation education system to capture materials at source, using colour, symbols, and shaped openings.

As society is educated, their attitudes shift, and so does the collective consciousness. The evidence shows that eventgoers’ anti-social behaviours are changing year-on-year, with a movement toward a zero-waste culture.


NiftyBins™ is a product designed by Environmental Recovery Solutions (ERS), a company dedicated to continuously innovate to solve the demand of material disposal. Put to the test with the toughest audience, the Agents Of Change and Friendly Bin Investigators are interface, deployed as the part of the ergonomically designed recycling vessels. Together we will succeed in zero waste to reshape our future.

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