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Flat recycling to go underground with new Finnish waste system

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Source: Materials Recycling Week

A Finnish underground waste system by vacuum technology firm MariMatic is set to rival the Swedish Envac system and help encourage residents to recycle from flats.

MariMatic may look to the UK to develop the Metro Taifun system that does away with kerbside collections and collects municipal waste using an underground network of vacuum pipes.

The Envac system was recently installed at developer Quintain’s 4,200 home Wembley City project in London. The system takes waste through a pipeline from collection points to the relevant waste stream container which a vehicle then picks up to take to a recycling facility. The main pipeline is connected to several branches of pipes that are connected to housing developments. The main pipeline begins from the waste station and uses an underpressure system to transport the waste. The waste does not come back to the waste station.

In contrast, the Metro Taifun system uses a new ring line technology where the main pipeline begins from the waste station and ends up at the waste station. It uses both undepressure and overpressure to collect the waste.

MariMatic sales manager Matti Juvonen said: “The vacuum waste collection system philosophy is based on sorting the waste at the point of origin. This is supported by the fact that vacuum waste collection systems include waste collection points for different waste types. This enhances the recyclability of the materials.

“The ring line technology circulates most of the air in the main pipeline and also pushes much more used air out of the waste station. This means that the energy consumption of the ring line system is lower than in the traditional system. In addition, there are less noise, odor and particle problems caused by the ring line system.”

Juvonen said that the benefits of using an underground system also include the reduction of “traditional ugly and messy waste bins and trucks in an area”. There are several systems at planning phase in Finland at the moment.

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