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Pneumatic-Based Trash Disposal System Eyed in NYC

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GTOlover
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Re: Cost Savings?
GTOlover   10/22/2013 1:56:42 PM
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Tool_maker brings up a good point. How do you keep people from stuffing any thing they do not want into the system. My understanding is the garbage is placed into canisters that are then sent down the tubes. But has anyone noticed how dumpsters are some times stuffed with couches, televisions, or broken chairs? How is recycling handled? Seperate canisters that get routed down seperate tubes? Hazardous wastes?

To some degree, though they are far from perfect, the sanitation workers have the option to leave the crap that is not allowed on people's front door.

As far as maintenance, Design News has covered a lot of robots that can fit into tubes and pipes. These would be the tools used for tube checking and un-clogging duty.

mrdon
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Re: Cost Savings?
mrdon   10/23/2013 1:08:06 AM
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GTOlover

I like the concept of using robots to unclogged the pipes. Design News has written many articles on snake like robots that could easily manuever and clean the inside of pipes. Seems like a new industry for waste disposal and management systems might be born with this proposed New York system.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cost Savings?
Elizabeth M   10/23/2013 5:06:23 AM
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That's a good idea, mrdon, and you're right, there are robots capable of this. I think one thing at a time, though! It might be difficult enough to get the pneumatic trash system in place, let alone introduce robots into it! But it's good to be thinking ahead like this.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cost Savings?
Elizabeth M   10/23/2013 5:14:56 AM
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I see your point, GTOLover, but I think maybe the size of the bins would preclude anyone from stuffing unwanted items down there. But I'm not sure. And as I said in a previous comment, the robot search teams are a great idea if this system was put into place.

Elizabeth M
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Re: History shows "acceptance" is the challenge
Elizabeth M   10/23/2013 5:18:14 AM
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I think you're right, JimT, and as another reader pointed out, there would probably be a big backlash from labor unions on this worried about lost jobs--they would definitely try to find a way to either block or supplement jobs somehow, which would demand negotiations, compromises and definitely stall the project. I know what you mean about people showing resistance--it's a bit frustrating, but I guess I understand, since it's something new and unknown, and people often fear what they don't know. Also, it's not surprising people with sanitation jobs in the old system might worry about what would happen to them in a new system.

Tool_maker
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Re: Cost Savings?
Tool_maker   10/23/2013 10:57:31 AM
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@GTOlover: Of course you are correct about the robotic maintenance and I am embarassed that I did not think of that. There are millions of miles of pipe lines that are maintained thusly.

  Your point about recycling is a good one. Today many people do not recycle because it is too much trouble. Another problem could be, "Yard Waste". We have to keep it separate in the St. Louis area and when leaves are falling or spring grass is being cut, my yard waste outnumbers regular trash cans 8-1. I have a big yard and that may not be an issue in New York.

mrdon
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Re: Cost Savings?
mrdon   10/23/2013 12:49:58 PM
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Elizabeth M

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, your absolutely correct about taking continuous improvement steps for the Pneumatic Based Trash Disposal System. Its better to develop the system in chucks(subsystems) as opposed to the complete build. It minimizes systems errors as well as NRE (Non-Recurring Enginering) costs.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Cost Savings?
Ann R. Thryft   10/23/2013 7:51:17 PM
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While at first this sounds fascinating, like Tool_maker I also have concerns about cost/payback, as well as maintenance and just plain practicality. In some places, like highly urbanized NYC, it might make more sense than others. It's true we've covered many snake-like robots that could do the maintenance, but they're not at all cheap: quite the opposite. They're also not past prototypes in most cases. In any event, adding robots to this system seems to me like unnecessary complexity.

William K.
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Re: Cost Savings?
William K.   10/23/2013 9:41:51 PM
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GTO, sorting waste would be fairly simple, since each type of refuse would have a specific bin. Then the master control station could select dumping all of the glass bottle bins at one time, all of the plastic trash bins at another time, and even yard waste at a specific time. It would be similar to the pipelines used for the transport of different materials. It would not be 100% perfect but it could certainly  provide a good amount of separation quite easily.  And why use a robot to unclog the pipes when there are already in existance all kinds of pipe unclogging technologies. It is not a new science, you know.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Cost Savings?
Elizabeth M   10/28/2013 8:51:28 AM
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I agree with most of what you're saying, Ann. I hear what everyone else is saying about concerns, too, but I think it is workable, but one thing at a time, like I said before. Let's see if the system can work incrementally and then maybe someday robots can get in there. But you're right, it would all be too complex all at once to introduce such a big idea.

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