Environmental damage and the build up of landfills (places where garbage is dumped) have made recycling a norm. However, recycling relies on the idea that the things that we make will inevitably create waste. A new form of recycling that will likely become popular in 2030 is ‘upcycling’. Upcycling is the practice of turning waste into better quality products; for example, old toothbrushes into bracelets, or old magazines into woven place mats or pots for plants.
Garbage designers are key to ensuring the success of upcycling. They want to find creative ways to turn the by-products of the manufacturing process into high-quality materials for making another entirely separate product. Garbage designers may also be responsible for designing ways to make things with very little waste. The ultimate goal will be waste-free production. Companies that make toys, clothes, and furniture will hire garbage designers to rethink which materials they use. Everything from plastic packaging and price tags to paper assembly instructions and shopping bags will have to be redesigned. Garbage designers will be key players in a future economy built on environmentally friendly practices.
Garbage designers will need a strong background in materials science and engineering. An interest in industrial design will also be ideal. Familiarity with manufacturing practices and trade will help them identify key points where they can make the most impact. Highly creative and resourceful people with an interest in the environment are encouraged to consider this fulfilling career.