Smart options for waste

The City of Perth is undertaking a waste management review, which is investigating future strategies for collecting, storing and transporting waste.

One option put forward by Hyder Consulting, engaged to complete the City’s review, is to investigate underground vacuum technology, whereby waste is transported through a series of underground pipes.

The draft report says a pneumatic waste conveyance system (PWCS) would alleviate the challenges of garbage trucks adding to congestion and competing for space on narrow roads and laneways.

The City’s infrastructure and enterprises director Doug Forster said waste could be transferred up to 1.5km from an inlet to a central receiving station, with material moving at speeds of up to 80km/h.

‘The waste is transported in an underground pipe system to a central collection point where it is compacted into truck size containers,’ he said. ‘The containers are removed weekly and taken to recycling depots for collected recycle material or general garbage to a regional waste authority for treatment and disposal.’

Mr Forster said PWCS was most effective in high-density precincts.

Similar systems are used throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America including Barcelona, Kuala Lumpur and Copenhagen.

Time periods and costs will not be available until council considers the final report.

Other options outlined in the review include changing bin size options, encouraging alternative waste handling options and electronically tagging bins.