Pipe Dream or Future of NYC Trash Removal?

The City of New York sifts through 11,000 tons of trash per day along with 2,000 tons of recyclables. That’s a remarkable amount garbage, but even more amazing is managing to find ways to efficiently deal with all this waste. Could a pneumatic pipe collection system work?

The (air-related/air-operated) piping system idea works something like this:

Trash is literally sucked through a complicated web of underground pipes like a vacuumThese pipes would run from city streets and buildings (the drop off pointsto area waste facilitiesThe technology itself is nothing newand the city already has quite a large underground (basic equipment needed for a business or society to operate) in place to install the pipes.

Underground tunnel system in NYC
Huge underground tunnel system in New York CitySourceWired

(air-related/air-operated) pipe waste collection system would remove (keeping things clean and disease-free) trucks from the roads and save the city quite a bit of moneyalthough much of that money would go right back into maintaining the new collection systemNew York City spends about $1.6 billion per year on garbage collection and disposal.

Probablyan underground (air-related/air-operated) waste collection system would also reduce the stink of rotting trash and number of rats on city streets.

University study supports the idea

City College of New York‘s University of Transportation Research Center (UTRChas studied this whole idea for the past three yearsIts findingspublished in a 2013 reportfound the running costs of an (air-related/air-operated) system would be 30% less than the current garbage collection systemalthough the (money paid at the beginning) of (combining different things together so they work as one unit) such as system within the city‘s current (basic equipment needed for a business or society to operate) would be big.

AVAC (air-related/air-operated) waste collection system

The report also noted a 60% reduction in energy and more than 50% reduction in pollution (that heats up the Earth) (things sent out or given off) with the (air-related/air-operated) trash collection system.

It’s already being used on Roosevelt Island

It’s called Automated Vacuum Helped Collectionor AVACIt‘s a series of 20-inch wide pipes(related to winning a battle) placed around town to collect trashThe system has been used on the island since the ’70s.

Trash zooms through the pipes at around 30 mph and eventually reaches the sorting facility where it is compactedplaced in containers and then shipped to a move (from one place to another) station.

Problems arise from time to timemainly jams in the pipesbut these problems are easily fixed with little manual poking and poking/encouraging by workers using a changed drain hole-drilling tool.

Since it was launched more than 40 years agothe AVAC system has experienced very little downtimean event involving thousands of phone books mixed with water caused a nearly two-week shutdown (more than two, but not a lot of) years ago (see video), but other than thatit‘s been(compared to other things) smooth sailing.

The (old/allowing to get old/getting older) AVAC system on Roosevelt Island is more than over due for upgradesFor instanceit cannot separate recyclables from general trashit all gets mixed together and sent to the move (from one place to another) stationThe technology to separate valuable recyclables from household trash is out therebut it‘s a too expensive issue right now for the folks on Roosevelt Island.

NYC waste removal going forward

If NYC were to put into use an (air-related/air-operated) waste collection systemthere‘s no doubt it would be (the best design available now) and the best in the world ((air-related/air-operated) trash systems are now being used in more than 30 countries).

(air-related/air-operated) trash collection in Nassau County
(air-related/air-operated) trash receptacles in Wembley New CityLondonUnited Kingdom.SourceEnvac

The team of (people who work to find information) at UTRC guess (of a number) that an AVAC-type system could be realistically put into place in Manhattan in the next 50 to 100 years.Howeverthe team also talked about/said that it wouldn‘t be surprised to see testing of such system far sooner than thatpossibly this ten years.

The idea that one of the world‘s biggest cities could (almost completely/basically) eliminate trash canspiles of trash and commercial dumpsters from curb sides all around the city is an attractive effortDoable/possibleIt seems to bealthough it would take quite a bit start up money to make it happenIt would also beby farthe most long/big piping system of its kind.

It’s something that‘s definitely worth looking into because it could help clean up the streets of New YorkThat saidit‘s such a huge difficult project to get a system like this up and running that it may prove to be not worth the time and effortIf anyone can do itthoughthe great people of NYC can get it done!