- Envac announced that an automated waste collection (AVAC) system is being designed to serve a portion of the Hudson Yards, a mixed-use mega-project being developed by The Related Companies in New York City. AVAC systems are slowly starting to catch on in North America, touting better air quality and climate resilience compared to traditional truck-based waste collection systems.
- AVAC systems are fully sealed, so they can continue to operate during a hurricane or other extreme weather event. The Roosevelt Island AVAC system in New York continued to operate and collect trash during Superstorm Sandy.
- Several other developers on both U.S. coasts are considering AVAC systems for new developments, and an Envac system started operation in July 2014 at Cite Verte, a new “green” residential community in the Saint-Sacrament District of Quebec City, Canada.
The Swedish company behind the Envac system has been installing and operating the waste management systems since the 1960s. An Envac system recently began operations in Gandhinagar, India, touted as the country's first smart city.
The benefits of implementing a pneumatic tube system are many: Collection trucks are eliminated, so greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, and there's no associated diesel truck emission odors, quieter operation and less wear and tear on city streets. Of course, the elimination of trucks could also mean the loss of jobs.
Technology continues to move the industry forward, and U.S. cities are responding.