Better air quality and climate resiliency are among the benefits of using automated vacuum waste collection (AVAC) systems over traditional truck-based waste collection systems, according to an article in Forester Daily News.
With an AVAC system, collection trucks are eliminated, so greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced. No trucks also mean no associated diesel truck emission odors, quieter operation and less wear and tear on city streets.
Because AVAC systems are fully sealed, they can continue to operate during a hurricane or other extreme weather event. The Roosevelt Island AVAC system continued to operate and collect trash during Superstorm Sandy, even as the storm lashed the northeast leaving piles of garbage in areas that were flooded for days. The closed waste receptacle and leak tight system also virtually eliminate the attraction of rats and other rodents.
AVAC systems also offer a long lifespan, with some systems operating on a continual basis for more than 50 years before a major overhaul.
While there are more than 100 urban AVAC systems in use in city centers, residential areas, airports and theme parks around the world, their introduction into the US urban waste sector has been slow. However, they are starting to gain favor. Envac, a vacuum waste collection company based in Stockholm, Sweden, recently announced that an AVAC system with an initial capacity of 25 tons of waste per day is being designed to serve a portion of the Hudson Yards, a mixed-use, multi-billion-dollar project being developed by The Related Companies in New York City.
Several other developers on both US coasts are considering AVAC systems for new developments.
Photo credit: garbage on a New York City street via Shutterstock.