Greener, less noisy and odourless, pneumatic collection offers an alternative solution to traditional collection which fits perfectly into sustainable urban development and environmental protection projects. Spotlight on its upcoming arrival at Vitry-sur-Seine.
What is pneumatic collection? It is a complete underground system for transporting waste using vacuum technology. Once placed by users in collection points set up on the pavement or incorporated into buildings, the waste is transported through underground pipelines to a vacuum station before being treated.
Pneumatic collection involves three steps:
o Storage: before being transported, the waste is stored in a tank in an extension of the collection point.
o Vacuum and transport: the waste is vacuumed once a certain volume of waste accumulates in the tank, or at regular intervals. The suction action which transports the waste through the pipelines works by pressure difference. Since the collection point is at atmospheric pressure, a lower pressure is created in the network, at about 3/4 of atmospheric pressure. When the storage inlet opens, the pressure difference causes the waste to be sucked and transported through the pipes at about 70 km/hr.
o Compaction and evacuation: the waste ends up at a collection station where it is compacted and taken away by lorry, or sucked directly into special vehicles.
This collection system offers many benefits for city dwellers, the city itself and the environment. It takes lorries off the roads reducing noise and visual nuisance as well as curbing pollution. Spaces used for landfills can be freed up and re-used for other purposes. Residents have, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a modern and aesthetic collection system for dropping their household waste and packaging. Pneumatic collection also helps create a cleaner environment for urban living.
In Vitry-sur-Seine, SITA France and ROS ROCA, a subsidiary of Ros Roca Environnement, in September 2011 won the contract to design and build a pneumatic collection system for household waste. The municipality will be installing 390 waste collection points, all linked to the vacuum station by more than 10 kilometres of piping. These discreet points will be installed inside buildings and on streets, depending on the type of waste they can accept.
In order to limit energy consumption, each inlet will be linked to a valve that allows intermediate storage of waste prior to the bags being sucked to the collection station. The air transported in the underground network will be filtered via a completely natural bio-filtration system to deodorize it before being released.
Construction will start in 2012 with full operational service projected for 2014 or 2015. The system will reach 30,000 residents in buildings on the south side of the city and will handle at least 10,000 metric tons of waste a year.