Pneumatic Tubes Could Be The Future of Garbage Collection

One of the biggest problems that the world faces today is that waste continues building up in many areas. Some areas are attempting to find solutions to waste management issues. Meanwhile, other areas have no real solutions so far. A few local governments are implementing the use of pneumatic tubes to collect garbage.

Pneumatic tubes are already being implemented in many European areas and many other places in the world are following suit after noticing how well it works. Since waste keeps piling up, many local governments believe it would be a good idea to make the switch. This leads many people to believe that pneumatic tubes could very well be the future of garbage collection.

Can pneumatic tubes be the future of garbage collection?

It is entirely possible that pneumatic tubes could be the future of garbage collection. Washington Security Products has been providing pneumatic tube carriers since 1976. Pneumatic tubes are effective in the European areas they are already implemented in. Having local governments make the switch could prove to be useful where the worst waste problems occur. 

Doing so could have a positive impact on the environment and reduce the changes of waste buildup. Everyone should want a cleaner future ahead of them. Installing pneumatic pipes to handle waste buildup could lead you in the right direction.

A Swedish company known as Envac installed the first ever air powered waste system in 1961 right outside of Stockholm. They continued to install pneumatic tubes in the 1970s. Because of this, some areas in Stockholm could have a new method of trash collection. The installation of pneumatic tube systems have spread across different areas of Stockholm since then. There are now over 100 systems in place around Stockholm. 

Thanks to the success of these systems in Stockholm, it is plausible that they can work just as well in other areas. Local governments for other cities could easily be influenced to change their waste collection method. The pneumatic tube waste collection method could become a natural way of life.

How it works

After learning how useful pneumatic tube systems have proven to be, it would be useful to know how they work. Different units take different types of waste, so you cannot really shove each piece of waste into one system. The waste is placed according to whether they are organic, mixed, or paper waste. The chute that the waste goes through is all underground, leading to the waste collection center.

There used to be only one single chute for waste to go through, Nowadays, there are multiple chutes for different types of waste and the waste goes through the pneumatic tube system all the way down to the valve room. The valve room is where the flow of waste is controlled and then passed through more tubes by a vacuum. 

The vacuum takes all of the waste to a compactor where it is then disposed of properly. The vacuums in the pumps are capable of moving waste at speeds of up to 40 miles per house. Meanwhile, the pumps only use electricity when the valves are open instead of running constantly. This saves a lot of electricity, which will work wonders for the environment.

The waste gets transferred to the collection center where it gets organized into separate containers. The waste goes into trucks to get disposed of properly instead of adding to the landfill. Organic waste will go to a digester to be broken down. Recyclable waste goes to a material recovery facility. Non-recyclable waste goes to a facility that will convert it into usable energy.

Everything about the pneumatic tube system for garbage collection benefits the environment. The best thing? It does not require a lot of electricity to operate. Garbage trucks can save gas by collecting the trash directly from the collection center instead of going around the entire city. The pneumatic system may be a bit expensive to manage upfront, but the advantages are astronomically useful.

Waste collection of the future

The methods of properly getting rid of trash has been a huge issue throughout urban history. Many methods have been tested to see which one would be the best (burning, burying, etc). Most of those experimented methods have only proved to be harmful to the environment. 

The implementation of garbage cans has made disposal easier. However, the buildup of waste is a major issue which is why larger dumpster bins have been placed around many cities to be collected by garbage collectors in heavy duty trucks.

Even with the increased number of large dumpster bins, overflows of waste are still common. Cross-contamination of waste raises another issue entirely and some people tend to put all kinds of waste into a single chute. Garbage bins need to be placed close to restaurants where waste disposal occurs quite frequently. 

Still, some trash bins need to be placed where benches or trees would normally be on the sidewalk. This is because the rate of waste overflow is still becoming an increasingly big problem. With a pneumatic tube system put into place, a good amount of the waste overflow issues could be resolved.

Executing plans

The pneumatic tube system works quite well for collecting garbage in Sweden and some other parts of Europe. However, North America still needs to catch onto the idea. New York seems to be undergoing a pneumatic tube waste collection research project. The research is being carried out by an organization known Closed Loops.

Their research may make the implementation of pneumatic tubes in New York and other parts of the United States possible. If that is the case, there will have to be a lot of redevelopment involved. If this plan is successful, then the issues regarding waste overflow in many cities can be dealt with accordingly.


In the future, garbage bins may become a thing of the past. The waste landfill needs to be reduced to prevent waste overflow and implementing pneumatic tubes to collect garbage will welcome many environmental benefits.

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