Introduction: EcoTrash

This Instructable will guide you through the different steps to build the EcoTrash. The EcoTrash is a trash that sorts automatically metallic and plastic rubbish. You can also find 2 videos on the following links about the software (programmation) and the building steps in video.


Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Required Tools !

Before starting to cut and screw, let us list the tools you will need to build the EcoTrash !

  • Drilling machine
  • Power screwdriver
  • Jigsaw
  • Glue dispensing pistol/gun
  • Multi-Use glue tube
  • Meter
  • Pencil
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder wire (Tin)

Step 2: List of Materials

  • Particel board panels
    • 1200 mm x 700 mm - thickness 8 mm - 6 Nos.
  • Partical board panel
    • 1200 mm x 700 mm - thickness 3 mm - 1 Nos.
  • Transparent plexiglass sheet
    • 1000 mm x 700 mm - thickness 2 mm - 1 No.
  • Hollow aluminium tube
    • length min 10 cm - hollow - ⌀ 10 mm - 1 No.
  • Inductive sensor - 1 No.
    • Make sure the output voltage is not more than 15 V DC
  • Object sensor - 1 No.
    • Output voltage 2,5 - 5 V
  • 12 V battery - 1 No.
  • 9 V battery - 1 No.
  • Screws - box of 100 screws
    • ⌀ 3 mm x 16 mm

TIP : For the following materials it is recommended to buy an Arduino Starter kit available on multiple websites (Amazon, Arduino, Conrad, etc.)

  • Servomotor
    • Arduino servomotor - 1 No.
  • Arduino
    • Arduino Uno - 1 No.
  • Breadboard - 1 No.
  • Resistors
    • 550 Ω - 1 No.
    • 1 kΩ - 1 No.
  • Arduino connection cables - 10 Nos.

Step 3: Preparation Works & Dimensions

The preparation tasks aim to simplify the assembling steps of the trash, the preparation tasks include all the big cutting works. After this almost all the parts will be ready to be assembled together. To keep a clear overview of all your parts we recommend you to label them with a pencil. (i.e. lbl “X” ; see photo)

To build the main structure of the model, you need to cut particle boards with the dimensions given below :

  • 2x : 800 x 620 mm - lbl A & B
  • 1x : 600 x 620 mm - lbl C
  • 1x : 450 x 600 mm - lbl D
  • 1x : 620 x 500 mm - lbl E

To build ONE of the two drawers (mix of particle boards, wood stick and plexiglas), you’ll need :

Main structure of the drawer :

  • 2x : 630 x 430 mm - lbl F & G
  • 1x : 630 x 260 - lbl H
  • 1x : 430 x 260 mm - lbl I
  • 1x : 85 x 260 mm - lbl J
  • 1x : 430 x 260 mm - lbl K
  • 1x : 600 x 350 mm - lbl O

Handle of the drawer (made of wooden batten [rectangular section]) :

  • Handle - lbl L
    • 2x : 30 mm length
    • 1x : 100 mm length

To build the cap of the trash (made of particle boards), you’ll need :

  • 1x : 580 x 620 mm - lbl M

This board needs to be opened in its centre. This hole, with a square section, will be useful to throw the waste inside of the trash. Use the drilling machine and the jigsaw to accomplish that. That same hole will be equipped with a guide (square section) made of 4 particle boards with the dimensions : 280 x 150 mm - lbl N

The top of the trash is laid on supports that we attached inside of the trash. You’ll need :

  • 8x (2 on each side) : 50 mm length (wooden batten)

To build the plate that will receive the waste, you’ll need :

  • 1x : 400 x 560 mm (3 mm thickness)

Step 4: Assembling of the Outline

Now, assemble the panels A, B and D together. Then add the bottom of the trash (panel C) by screwing it. And then screw the panel (E) in the center of the bottom. That panel will separate both of the drawers and help strengthening the main structure.

Step 5: Assembling of the Drawers

First, assemble the F, I, G, J particle boards that constitute the outline of the drawer, with screws. Then fix the bottom of the drawer (H) with screws. Screw the plexiglas panel (K) on the front of the drawer, just as shown on the picture. Now, screw the handle (L) on the back of the drawer.

Step 6: Assembling of the Cap

Make a square opening in the centre of the panel. The opening shall be 280 x 150 mm as explained before. Then assemble the guide with the 4 panels previously cut and set it up in the hole.

Step 7: Positioning the Sensors

Recover the signal of the presence sensor thanks to its connection wire. Now that you recovered the signal of the sensor, you may use it in the programmation. This sensor is separated in 2 parts (light emitter and light receiver). Those 2 parts are attached on 2 parallel sides of the trash. Recover the signal of the inductive sensor thanks to its connection wire. This sensor is located and glued in the centre of the turntable. For that first cut a hole out of the turntable as per the dimensions of the sensor head and glue the sensor with the glue pistol.

Step 8: Setting Up of the Rotation System

Use the drilling machine to drill a hole in the front panel of the trash. This hole will be receiving the rotation axis of the turnpanel. This turnpanel is driven by a servomotor that is attached on the same axis but on the other side of the trash, at the back. Have a look at the video to find out how to fix it !

Step 9: Setting Up of the Arduino and Others Electronic Components

Set the resistors bridge up with the aim to recover ⅓ of the tension that the inductive sensor normally gives. Mount the resistors bridge, the batteries and the Arduino on the back of the panel. Protect the components with a transparent plexiglas panel as it is shown on the picture. Beforehand you will have fixed panel lbl O on the back of the trash on fix the components on it.

Step 10: Handles on the Drawer

Fabricate the two handles (lbl L) and screw them on the drawers. Your Ecotrash is now finished !

Be the First to Share


    • Raspberry Pi Contest 2020

      Raspberry Pi Contest 2020
    • Wearables Contest

      Wearables Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest

    2 Discussions


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you !