A Queensland council says it is a step closer to replacing large garbage trucks with a revolutionary vacuum system that will suck dirty waste underground.
The automated rubbish disposal system is being constructed in Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast, where a pipe network stretching more than 6km has been laid.
The project was first announced in 2016 by Swedish company Envac, which has constructed a network of technological bin collection vacuums in cities across Europe, Asia and the United Kingdom.
Instead of using old and loud wheelie bins and waiting for them to be collected, rubbish is transported from commercial buildings and apartments through an underground system of vacuum pipes at speeds of up to 70km/h.
At the time of the announcement, the Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the network would reduce odours and associated bugs and flies as well as the daily cost of street cleaning and collection.
The project was originally expected to cost about $21 million.
“New urban developments in Stockholm, Seoul, Barcelona, London, Singapore and Beijing have all utilised the Swedish-designed Envac waste collection system – but no Australian city has done so – until now,’’ he said in 2016.
The plan was to include three waste inlets constructed in new buildings to separate the rubbish into organic, recyclable and general waste.
Rubbish is then stored in a sealed compartment below ground until the vacuum pump is activated at the central waste facility, twice a day.
The waste collection station and the first part of the underground piping connecting apartments and offices to the rubbish station is now complete, the Brisbane Times has reported.
The first phase of the project is expected to be up and running in June with other councils across the state being earmarked for the next home of the hi-tech collection system.
“This innovative system will remove the need for conventional waste collection trucks to service bins on streets, which will have many benefits for traffic and amenity in the new CBD,” Sunshine Coast Council planning services group executive manager James Ruprai said.