The Centralsug System is an efficient, modern and exceptionally hygienic method of handling waste. It is based on the principle of transporting waste to the truck. The system utilizes air to transport the waste via a network of underground pipes from buildings to a central collection station. The applications are far ranging, almost any urban development with a high concentration of waste being generated can benefit from this system. The system consists of: a refuse chute with inlet doors for discarding refuse on each level of the building, a network of pipes which connect each building to a central collection station and a collection station where refuse is compacted and stored in containers.
The Centralsug system also makes recycling more efficient, Different types of waste can be easily collected and stored in separate containers to be transported to recycling facilities. The Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks (HKSTP) was the first commercial building which has installed the Automated Refuse Collection System.
There is no vacuum in the chute, the refuse bags fall by gravity down to the discharge valves.
The pneumatic refuse collection systems function automatically. Human assistance or supervision is not required during the collection process. A computer, located in the central control panel controls the collection process. During the collection process, the refuse that has been stored on the refuse discharge valves is collected. The collection process is generally repeated two to five times a day. The duration of each process varies between 2 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the system. Between the collection times, all machinery of the pneumatic transport system is turned off. The refuse can however be loaded into the chutes at any time when the system rests.
The refuse collection station can be located in a separate building or form part of a another building, e.g. a car Parks. Principle equipment in the collection station consists of:
Refuse Transport Pipes
The refuse transport pipes are normally manufactured of mild carbon steel. But in the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks, the pipes are made of stainless steel. In sections where large quantities of refuse are transported or high impact regions (bends and Y-pipes) pipes must be manufactured of material with greater hardness. The wall thickness of the pipe also varies in different parts of the system to cater for different erosion factors. All parts of the transport pipe system are welded together. The transport pipes are usually installed underground. In Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, however, has use two service tunnel. All the utilities, including the transport pipe, were installed in the service tunnel.
The refuse discharge valves (DV) separates the vertical refuse chutes form horizontal transport pipe system. The valves are normally installed on the basement level in the buildings. The refuse is stored above the closed valve between emptying cycles. When the valve opens, the refuse falls by gravity/suction into the air stream in the transport pipe. Only one valve can be open at one valve. The operation of the valve is controlled by the computer in the central control panel in the collection panel. Control boxes in the refuse valve rooms verify and execute the orders transmitted from the central control panel. A storage section was installed above the valve, where refuse collects, in HKSTP. A level sensor also has installed which will alert the control centre to start the collection process when full.
The air inlet valves are located at the end of each branch of the refuse pipes. The Valves are usually installed on basement level in the buildings near the last refuse discharge emptying cycles.Fig.10: Air inlet valve
The vertical refuse chutes form part of the building and provide inlet doors for refuse disposal at each level of the building. The refuse chutes are only subjected to a slight negative pressure. The chutes are normally constructed of concrete or steel.
In order to prevent blockage of the refuse in the chutes and in the transport pipes, the inlet doors are volume controlled, where the dimensions of the refuse disposed should not exceed the inside diameter of the transport pipes. At the top of the chute, a ventilation fan is provided for exhaust extraction.
For the first one, there is one main chute, which runs down the building servicing all levels. This main chute will primarily be used to collect non-recyclable waste on a daily basis. The ground level outdoor disposal inlets are provided for the disposal of recyclable materials such as paper or organic refuse. In this configuration, it is necessary to manually carry the recyclable waste from the buildings and out to the specified inlet for collection.
For the second one, this type of set-up provides the full service of recyclable waste disposal to each level of the building. The collection principle is the same as for the first configuration. However, this arrangement allows disposal of recyclable wastes at the doorstep of each apartment.
At the time being, Since the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks is still under construction and not yet fully complete. (Phase 1 is 70% finish, Phase 2 & 3 has not start.) Therefore, the ARCS is not fully utilized, and only a few waste was generate per day. However, according to the regulation in Hong Kong, it is not allow to store waste within a long period. It may be not efficiency if transport the waste to landfill with only a few wastes was generated. Therefore, under special arrange, it is allow for HKSTP to store up to 80% of the capacity before a transport the container. It is because only dry waste is allowed to put in this system. Therefore, odour is not problem. Moreover, the ARCS is possible to collect waste about 1 km far away, it have a big potential to replace the Manual waste handling. Since manual waste handling may bring a lot of hygiene problem.
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