"Daily waste collected with pipes – cool"
In Vuores, the suburb of the Finnish city of Tampere, the MetroTaifun® automatic waste collection system (AWCS), has taken care of waste collection since July 2012. The Vuores suburb is a vibrant and developing district, designed according to the modern urban infrastructure, while respecting the nature and landscape. The area will be the future home for 13,000 inhabitants, creating 1.9 million kg of residential waste and 650,000 kg of office waste annually.
When planning the Vuores suburb, the city of Tampere recognized that a pipeline for waste collection could significantly reduce the environmental impact in the area, with no need for traditional garbage pick-up.The MetroTaifun AWCS was chosen mainly based on its advanced technology and smaller pipe size, enabling easier, faster and cheaper installation, not to mention operation with less energy consumption compared to both traditional AWCS as well as collection with garbage trucks and bins.
MetroTaifun, which is delivered and maintained by MariMatic Oy, conveys municipal waste from the households and offices. Pirkan Putkikeräys Oy (Pirkka Pneumatic Waste Collection Ltd.) is a subsidiary to Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto Oy (Tampere Regional Solid Waste Management Ltd.). Pirkan Putkikeräys is responsible for investment and maintenance of the AWCS, and Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto provides services such as waste management, customer service and communications.
The Vuores suburb, as many other city districts in Finland, is very organized in selective collection of waste. In addition to the collection of bio waste, mixed waste, paper and cardboard with the MetroTaifun system, there is an eco-point for large cardboard items, glass, metals and plastic. Furthermore, hazardous waste, electric equipment as well as renovation, gardening and bulky waste are being collected in other ways. Thus, MetroTaifun is in a huge role of collecting large amounts of daily waste effectively. Vuores’ slogan is a good rule of thumb in collecting daily waste with the AWCS system: "Daily waste collected with pipes – cool".
MariMatic Waste Collection inlets in Vuores
Guidance of Users
As in adopting any new system or service, the user guidance on commissioning also of AWCS is very important. The users play a key role when using the system, so it can work properly. Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto has provided all Vuores residents with user instructions, training sessions as well as information available on the internet. The communication and training need to be continuous, as the Vuores residential area is expanding and hundreds of new residents will be moving in yearly. Adoption of new approaches may take time for some residents, and it also requires motivation to do things differently than before.
For some users for a start, it has been difficult to figure out, where to take the large waste items as big mattress, plastic toys, ski boots, cardboard boxes and bulky wooden cutting boards etc. This kind of waste is taken into other waste collection points than AWCS', either located in the living area or collected by PAKU pick-up service. Vuores' slogan is a good rule of thumb in collecting daily waste with the AWCS system: "Daily waste collected with pipes – cool".
How AWCS works?
Results from the user survey in Vuores
For collecting feedback from residents about waste collection in the Vuores area, Pirkanmaan Jätehuolto has implemented user surveys, and the results have been very positive. The overall opinion is that the AWCS system works better than traditional waste collection with waste trucks, and it is seen as a more ecological option than traditional waste collection.
Among the respondents, the most important issues related to the waste disposal are that it is affordable and cost-effective, and that the development of waste management and the creation of innovations is continuous. In addition, respondents highlighted the importance of providing information on how to prevent the generation of waste in the first place. Pirkan Putkikeräys Oy has been successful in ensuring smooth and trouble-free waste collection, as well as in providing friendly and customer-oriented service.
Some facts from the survey
Collection of large cardboard and other big items has required extra attention in the user guidance. The small daily cardboard packages can be inserted to the AWCS inlet, but the bigger ones need to be taken into other collection points.
44% of respondents feel that the pipeline system has encouraged them to increase sorting of waste.
57% of respondents have encountered Vuores eco-points and used them.
Pneumatic waste collection is seen as more functional than traditional waste collection. Also, the cleanliness of collection points' surroundings is an advantage and odors & noise have been significantly reduced, thanks to AWCS.
4% of respondents have encountered waste substances or objects, suitability of which for the pipe system was not clear.
75% of respondents have received sufficient information and guidance on the use of the AWCS. 2% felt that they had sufficient information, however they are willing to learn more. 23% of the respondents feel that they had not sufficient information, however, on the other hand, they are not interested in getting more information either.
Benefits for various stakeholders
Some residents think that selective sorting has been improved and that they are more enthusiastic to sort waste than earlier, before the AWCS system was in hand. They think that the system increases the value and attractiveness of the region. Some of them are even happy to present the use of the system to their guests.
For the city of Tampere, the Vuores suburb was the first in Finland and also in the world to take the MetroTaifun® AWCS into use. The first phase of the AWCS was commissioned at the time of the housing fair event, which took place from July to August in 2012. The system gained attraction worldwide and since, Pirkan Putkikeräys Oy has introduced the waste collection system to a large number of domestic and international visitors at Vuores, as well as in various events.
For the environmental point of view, it's very significant, that the use of pneumatic waste collection in waste transport saves more than 50% energy compared to the traditional methods of using bins and garbage trucks. AWCS enables smarter urban planning for comfort and lively neighborhoods. Residents can enjoy clean and safe surroundings without heavy truck traffic entering the courtyards and producing emissions. In AWCS, the waste moves in a closed system, so there is no overfilled waste cans attracting rats or other pests in the living area.
In overall, Pirkan Putkikeräys Oy is pleased with the MetroTaifun® AWCS's operational reliability and how it automates the waste flows of the biggest waste volumes of bio waste, mixed waste, paper and cardboard.
In addition, there is a dense network of eco-points in Vuores for other waste fractions. Despite of the fact that a frying pan or a pot still sometimes ends up to the wrong sorting place instead of a metal eco-point, residents at Vuores follow the guidelines of waste collection better than in suburbs on average. The company continues the important work of educating residents to enhance waste sorting and developing methods for sustainable waste collection.
Pirkanmaan jätehuolto Oy / Pirkan Putkikeräys Oy
More about Vuores project at MariMatic references.
Housing Fair 2012 in Vuores, Finland