Today, I showed up on time to set up the cart for Khala Dhidi's test, but she arrived an hour later than usual. Already she was grumbling about a bad start to a double day. Right away she said no pictures of her, because the other wastepicker had told her that I, the foreigner, would take pictures of women and misuse them at night like every white man does. I made sure Nagarji was clear to her that we needed her cooperation for this trial to work, and if she didn't want to participate that was OK. She said fine, let's do it, but I think that is when I realized how inideal of a user-test this would be.
Showing her defiance to what Nagarji told her about how to fill the cart so that it balances the load, she immediately did the opposite, meaning that it would be difficult for her to turn right from the start. Nagarji explained this to her and she just mumbled and walked off. She also is used to lifting up and dragging her old cart to turn it, so she seemed determined to do the same rather than use her weight to push it down and make the turns.
Notice how she filled all the edge containers first. The front four containers she was instructed not to fill till last, but rather to start filling from closest to the handle, putting wet and dry in seperate parts. This helps with turning because the front wheel does not swivel, the cart turns by leaning onto the handles and rotating the cart, which is aided by keeping the weight as close to the handles as possible.
Nagarji gave up and said – Do as you want – and went off to take care care of work elsewhere. I determined that this would be a good test of how this cart performs when used entirely wrong, and wrong to the max.
Turns out I was more on target than I expected. Khala Dhidi loaded from all the houses that gave her trash of the 105 she is responsible for, and also swept up the street leaves and sand. I trailed behind her and helped unload.
Unloading was quite difficult and a mess. She wants buckets, not these sacks that are hard to take off. Period. And you can't blame her. After she finished at 3pm finally and neither of us had eaten, it was hard to not wish she could just give feedback on the concept of the bags if they were able to be released easier, on . Or to ask why she left the gloves untouched, or how a tray might help to separate more quickly... I just had to bite my lip and apologize for the design, and help her unload it recognizing the bags were heavy and they didn't all seal so you couldn't just drop them like the design wanted. 20 kgs is too heavy to lift up, and bags don't drag like (durable) buckets.
Here is the compost that was able to be held. There was also bags of plastic trash that were given already seperated that she hung on the side after the cart was overflowing.
And the empty chassis
That is ridiculous, and dangerous unless there is no slope at all, but she liked the fact it made 1 round. Since her old cart was equally bad at turning she was OK lifting half the cart to turn every time, which was minimal on the straight roads. I tried 2 more times times to demo how she could use her weight to turn the cart but she gave a weak effort and shook her head. Once while scraping the cart she nearly removed the solid rubber tire before I stopped her. A couple times I was worried she would snap the bike axle with all that lateral dragging force from the ground, but it survived miraculously.
When misloaded, the cart certainly becomes difficult to turn. When overloaded it becomes heavy to get started pushing even on a flat. Emptying is still the major immediate design
Notes from the trip
-set aside only hard plastics and clean cardboards for recycling
-dry and heavy construction (inert) waste is common and heavy, so be careful when you think dry means light
-a tiffin would take time to be integrated into the cart efficiently
-bell would help, but she said she was not interested
-filled all the outer bags first – completely – before filling the inner bags
-chose to keep broom rested on top rather than on the hooks I had prepared
-she used the bucket cleaner once and was not interested in the compactor – she used the broom head instead to pound down organics for more space
-she spends most of her time sweeping the streets. Second most is separating. Little time is spent actually pushing
-she doesn't sweep up sand, gets anything that looks like trash or leaves, but leaves the sand.
-her bangles and ring might get in the way of the gloves
-one bag dripped slowly for 20 minutes or so, and it left a bit of a mess as we went, attracting a dog.
-parking would be a serious concern on an incline.
-she gets food from many homes, and said that she gives most of it to her cow
-didn't use her towel at all
-didn't use the crossbar almost at all.
-she preferred the handles flipped down, but didn't use them efficiently
-separation tray that sits as a cover over a sack opening but can be moved to another later
-compactor and scraper in one
-need a radio, this is so depressing
-handle crossbar needs to be moved back, and weight can be added on either side of handles, like in the original design.
-handle should be curved better to allow for pushing down and forward at the same time.
-one or 2 containers should be detachable from the side that can be used as a dustpan, or something to make sweeping much more quick
-the front wheel should be higher – use a 12” wheel, and consider using rubber.
-have a system of appropriately sized containers for the various streams rather than all the same size. Kitchen waste would be a smaller container, and dripping kitchen waste might have a waterproof bag, recyclables would be a larger sack, dripping landfill waste might have a waterproof container, have a container for sharp construction materials of odd shapes, etc.