Maroochydore to revolutionise waste disposal

LIAM WIDDICOMBE

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The network of pipes will use vacuums to suck waste away and into designated holding facilllities . Photo: Sunshine Coast Council

Following a contract signed between the Sunshine Coast regional council and Swedish waste company Envac, the Maroochydore CBD will see over six kilometres of underground vacuum pipes installed in an effort to  make the city one of the cleanest in Australia.

The underground waste disposal system is set to be an Australian first, utilising a network of underground pipes to transport waste up to 70km/h to a designated holding facility, whereupon it will be then disposed of as normal.

The project is expected to cost approximately $21 million, however Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson, is confident the cost will be recovered from occupants of the CBD over the life of the operation.

“This technology has a track record of increasing recycling rates, so our natural environment will benefit too,” he said in a recent statement.

“The people who live and work in the new CBD will never have to dump their waste into wheelie bins or skips again.”

Under the proposed plan, each building in the CBD will include at least three new waste inlets, one for organic, recyclables and general waste.

Waste deposited into these outlets will be stored in an underground compartment, before a vacuum pump is activated by a central waste facility at least twice a day, sucking the discarded waste along the underground pipes.

Sunshine Coast resident and environmental activist, Tessa Palmers is hoping the new system will benefit the environment and lead to less litter finding its way into drains.

“With underground vacuum pipes, I think there’s a lot less room for spillage,” Ms Palmers said.

“Since all the rubbish will now be contained, I think much less will find its way into animal habitats.”

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The full implantation of the automated waste disposal system is expected to take up to a decade. Photo: Sunshine Coast Council.

The implementation and installation of the underground pipe network and related facilities is expected to be completed in stages over the next decade.

The new waste management system is not the only thing Maroochydore residents can look forward to with SunCentral CEO, John Knaggs revealing in a statement that the Maroochydore CBD will soon become a technological hot-spot.

“We are also building a high-speed fiber optic network into the city’s very foundations, which will enable us to provide ‘smart’ signage, free Wi-Fi hot-spots, real-time transport information, movement sensors and smart lighting.

“Our city center will be an exciting place to live, work and visit while setting a new standard for urban design in Australia.”

While the automated waste transfer system will be the first of its kind in Australia, similar waste management systems are already in use in London, Barcelona, Singapore, and New York.

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