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Dog Waste Reward Scheme

Helen Porter

Project title

Dog Waste Reward Scheme


U101 Design Thinking

About me

I am formerly a software engineer who loves to create. I'm doing a BA in Design and Innovation to learn about designing alongside the humanities modules to learn about creative writing.


The scheme has two parts: a modified bin and an application. Users sign up and answer questions including: reward types, bin ordering and their dog’s details. The bin is for home or park use, so users without space can still benefit. Solar panels on the outside power the scales within the bin. These scales double as an RFID writer so that when users put dog waste inside, the RFID in the bin’s lid is updated with the weight. The home bin has wheels, and the park bin has a rod to secure it. The lid sensor allows the scales to be reset when opened. After dog waste is put inside, users scan the bin (RFID) with the application to log it. Later they receive their reward (e.g. council tax reduction).

My problem statement was: How can we encourage the proper disposal of dog waste? Waste was the research area, and dog waste left in fields/streets is a problem experienced by walkers and farmers alike. Dog waste can spread diseases and cause over-fertilisation. 

While researching dog waste globally and locally, I found it was an issue everywhere. Ideas were generated using two creative sessions where I allowed everyone five minutes to develop as many ideas as possible before discussing our favourites. Each idea was put through two evaluation grids to generate a score out of 60. The best and most comprehensive idea was the Dog Waste Reward Scheme.

This project incentivises dog owners to properly pick up and dispose of their dog waste using rewards (such as money off dog food or council tax). This will create cleaner streets and fields and lower the risk of disease spread and over-fertilisation.

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