Recycle for Lewisham

A blog written for residents of Lewisham

Sucking Waste!

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I had a really interesting visit to the new Wembley Stadium today … was it to see an England football match, a game of NFL or a slightly ageing group of rockstars? It was none of these – as you might of guessed it was linked to recycling.

A new housing and commercial development surrounding the stadium has become the first development in the UK to utilise a system called “envac”. The envac system involves having three bins in the courtyard of the development (one for non-recycling waste, one for dry recyclables and one for organic waste).

These bins house below them three corresponding chutes, once the chutes are full, the rubbish is dropped into a tunnel below. Giant fans create a vacuum effect and send the rubbish bags through underground tunnels for up to 2 km to a central collection building where the waste is removed by Brent Council.

The Envac system originated in Sweden where some systems have been up and running for 40 years, as with a lot of things we are, unfortunately running a little bit behind. The system I saw provided a really good solution to recycling on estates and in densely populated areas.

So when will Lewisham be full of vacuums and chutes? … the system works best when developers can put the tubes in before the properties are built – essentially it needs to go in as a fifth service and needs to be thought of early. To be cost effective it also needs to service a minimum of 500 properties – envac are speaking to a nuumber of large property developers a couple of which are considering using the system on developments in the borough!

Watch this space…and this video if you want to see what happens inside the tube!

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