@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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I find it hard to believe the payback on something like this would ever be realized. As an earlier poster said, $10-$11 million wil probably be quadrupled." Then you have the sanatation workers union which would probably demand and get an observer at every inlet, discharge and junction along the way. How would that square with replacing a system that is already bought and paid for?
Each system will require maintenance and I think it will be cheaper to work on a truck as opposed to finding someone willing to crawl through a network of tubes etc. I can see how people would abuse such a system and try and cram all matter of things down an inlet and bring the whole thing to a screaming halt.
Every new idea or technology always has two hurdles to overcome: Feasibility and Acceptance.
This system is clearly feasible as evidenced by hundreds of thousands of drive-up banks and pharmacies. Only the scale has to change, as the pipe diameters and the back-pressure would be increased.
Acceptance (Politics) is almost always harder than Feasibility (Engineering), which has been shown to be true in countless examples in history; looking backward: cellular networks, Interstate highways, telephone lines, electricity grids, indoor plumbing. Why do people always show such resistance to obvious beneficial advancements-?
Having worked in the NYC metro area for several years, and continuing to hear of all the shenanigans that goes on in their local politics, I think the BEST place to "test" as system such as this would be to put the FIRST capture port @ the steps of City Hall. The first load of garbage the system collects could be all the politicians who are exiting the chamber!!!!!
Yes, that was my previous point, Chuck. I didn't read your comment before I commented. I think it would be difficult and complex, but manageable if the right type of people were handling the logistics. But that could be a tall order when so much bureacracy is involved. Miller was quite knowledgeable, though, and well spoken, and seemed to have a good handle on the logistics having been the policy manager for the sanitation department already. If he thinks it could work, I would tend to agree with him.
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