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Toss-It Residents is an app to turn their plastic waste into cash. Designed to help New Yorkers recycle smarter, it helps people connect with Toss-It bins placed in residential areas, earn money, and receive cash vouchers from eco-conscious brands, while making a positive impact on the environment. 

My Role

During my sustainable business models course at Parsons, I was given the challenge to think of a viable business strategy with sustainability at its core. I was inspired by the work of plastic bank where they were trying to create a social enterprise using plastic waste from oceans as currency. 

With an aim to bring out a solution to the plastic waste management problem of New York, I came up with a consumer app that leverages reverse supply chain systems and creates a perception for New Yorkers to earn unreal rewards with their residential plastic waste.

Onboarding Wizard: Educating and Empathy Building

The app guides users through a seamless onboarding process, explaining how the app works and bringing awareness of the potential value plastic waste has. Users understand the possibility of making money with their household waste. A Toss-It account is created as a family unit with individual members having access to the same account.

Personalized Dashboard: Visualizing Impact

The app allows people to effortlessly visualize the amount of plastic waste they have recycled and the associated rewards at any given moment. With personalized recycling targets based on your family size and the current month, Toss-It inspires users to achieve eco-friendly goals and go the extra mile for the environment. Users cal invite their neighbors to join Toss-It in order to strengthen the community. Simple, intuitive navigation helps users to access and redeem their rewards.

Instructional Guide for First-Time Users: Simplifying Instructions 

A user-friendly information illustration simplifies getting started and guides users on how to access the service. Users are given clear instructions of how to operate Toss-It bins, where to deposit plastic waste and how to collect rewards. With an intuitive instructional layer, we tried to reduce entry barriers to the service.

Reward Catalog: Transparency

Users access their rewards by choosing brands they would like to redeem vouchers from and unlock these over time with their plastic waste. Unlocked vouchers can be used for online and in-person shopping with partner brands. We chose to give users the autonomy to choose rewards to cater to individual needs. This way of receiving rewards as brand vouchers helps users realize an additional potential in their plastic waste and helps the service position their brand in the sustainable business space.

My Process

I worked in 3 sprints to start with a working hypothesis and evolve the concept by leveraging user testing. Toss-It is not just a mobile app but also an attempt to look at systemic intervention using service design and business strategy. At the end of the day, a viable business model behind a service brings success.

Checkout my entire process in the detailed case study!

Unlocking Rewards: Giving Control

A proportion of rewards are given as direct cash deposits in Toss-It cards that users can access in their card wallets and simply use in stores with a tap. This way of diversifying rewards was done for people to be able to use money that they earn for plastic instantly without having to wait for vouchers to be unlocked.

Using Toss-It Cards: Promoting Easy Usage

Users can simply tap and use rewards from their Toss-It cards similar to any other credit card. They could even choose to receive a physical card by mail.

Community of Toss-It Users: Promoting Healthy Benchmarks

The user can see their rewards compared to residents in their building and receive achievement badges. Over time this was designed to promote healthy recycling habits and a sense of agency among residents.

Checkout the detailed case study for this project here and get insights on my approach as a designer.

Toss-It Style Guide

The style guide of the Toss-It residents app ensures a consistent and delightful user experience. By defining clear guidelines for visuals, interactions, and tone of voice, we created a seamless and familiar journey for the users. With a cohesive design language, our app becomes more accessible and engaging, allowing users to navigate effortlessly and connect with our brand on a deeper level. From efficient development to maintaining brand identity, the style guide empowers us to evolve and grow while staying true to our mission of rewarding sustainable choices. 

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Checkout the detailed case study for this project here and get insights on my approach as a designer.

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