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CBD dumps the wheelie bin in high-tech trash revolution

BY NIGHT: Artists' impressions of the planned SunCentral development for the Maroochydore CBD.
BY NIGHT: Artists' impressions of the planned SunCentral development for the Maroochydore CBD. Contributed

FUTURE residents of the new Maroochydore CBD won't have to worry about doing a last-minute bin run in their pyjamas.

In fact, they'll never have to worry about taking out the trash again thanks to a $21 million, 6.5km network of underground, vacuum-powered rubbish collection system.

The first of its scale in Australia, the CBD-wide network will suck up trash at speeds of up to 70km/h into a central waste collection station emptied weekly.

The contract was formally signed by Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha on the site of the future CBD yesterday.

RELATED: Check out progress of the new CBD

The system will be rolled out in stages with the 53-hectare development with Cr Jamieson explaining the cost of the program will be covered by sales of land with increased values as a result of the technology, and the other half to be covered by future CBD ratepayers.

Swedish company Envac have been enlisted to deliver the technology which already exists in cities including Stockholm, Seoul, Barcelona, London, Singapore and Beijing.

Commercial buildings, apartment blocks and public spaces within the CBD will all be serviced by the network which Cr Jamieson said would "pay for itself".

The delivery of the rubbish collection system will add value to yield potential for developers within the city centre, removing the need to allocate garbage bin storage and garbage truck service access in buildings to be constructed.

"There is a much smarter way of doing things," Cr Jamieson said prior to signing the agreement with Envac's Asia region president Mr Ha.

The CBD is being delivered by the council's company SunCentral. The council made yesterday's announcement as a waste management arrangement was between Envac and the council as the future waste manager of the CBD, not SunCentral as developers.

What once was known as a bin will become an 'inlet', with users to separate their rubbish when putting it in the inlet.

Rubbish will fall into an underground holding pit or building basement with sensors identifying when it's time to vacuum the rubbish to the central collection centre.

It means that, provided no major system issues, the inlets (bins) "never get full" Cr Jamieson said.

"The bin will never, ever overflow," Cr Jamieson said.

"We are so proud," Mr Ha told the gathering yesterday.

Mr Ha said it had taken "many years" for his company to enter the Australian market and to do so on such a large scale was very exciting.

He spoke of the vision of 'piped' waste collection, noting Australia's waste collection system had fallen well behind other European nations.

Cr Jamieson described the agreement as one of the "defining decisions" that would make the new CBD "great".

With landfill difficult to come by, Cr Jamieson said the new system which encouraged residents to be more vigilant when it came to rubbish separation, would hopefully ensure life spans of the current Coast landfills could be prolonged.

Nambour landfill's lifespan will be extended to 2050 with new planning, and could be extended further if alternative waste management processes are introduced including conversion systems.

Caloundra's landfill was expected to close sometime around year 2035 and Cr Jamieson acknowledged there would be a need in future for more landfill but the challenge lay in where to establish any future landfill sites.

It was also hoped the new system would help drive households to a situation where general waste became the lowest-generated of the three rubbish types.

Cr Jamieson said this technology along with other features including city-wide, high-speed wi-fi through fibre optic cable laid in the civil works stage would attract future residents to the new city.

Among some of the other initiatives, the council wants to create its own compost system so that residents generating organic waste could use the compost as it became available.

Topics:  development, editors picks, maroochydore cbd, suncentral, sunshine coast, sunshine coast council, waste management


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