So as to be caring, environmentally friendly citizens, my roommates and I have agreed to use a seperate trash bin for plastic. However, banana peels and remnants of humus kept landing in the recycling bin, despite my persistance in placing the ‘Plastic’ label back on it again and again. As the label proved to be an inefficient solution, I thought a warning light could solve the problem.
Although I was aiming for a light that goes up each time someone opens the trash can, I started out with a smaller project, a lunchbox. First, I fixed two small pieces of conductive fabric to the ends of two longer wires with conductive tape (so that each wire had one end with the fabric on it, and one end ‘open’). Then the conductive fabric parts were fixed to the back of the lunchbox so that they would touch when the box is opened (see video).
Happy that my idea works, I made two longer wires with conductive fabric at their ends and I soldered two long wires to the two ends of a LED for my trash bin. Having disassambled the bin, I fixed one of the fabric pieces on its bottom, and the other one at the end of the pedal (in a way that they would touch when the pedal is stepped upon).
The sound of the following footage is a happy accident, and not part of my work (unfortunately).
See the two circuits in the picture below.