HDB looking at ways to cut odours from waste system

The pneumatic waste conveyance system at Jurong's Yuhua estate.
The pneumatic waste conveyance system at Jurong's Yuhua estate.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr See Jui Liew for his letter (Bad smell not going away, May 3).

The Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System (PWCS) was installed in 38 blocks in Yuhua, as part of the Housing Board's Greenprint programme.

It was a move to bring sustainable living into public housing estates and provide a cleaner and greener environment for residents.

The PWCS uses air suction to send household waste through an enclosed underground pipe network to a centralised bin centre.

This automated system reduces waste spillage onto common areas, odour from garbage and issues with pests.

We have received occasional complaints about foul smells coming from the waste collection system.

In some instances, this was caused by the improper disposal of bulky waste into the PWCS, which caused severe chokes in the underground pipes.

The smells may have been emitted when these chokes were being cleared.

HDB and the Jurong-Clementi Town Council have been studying ways to minimise the emission of odours from the centralised bin centre.

For instance, we now change the filter more frequently.

We are also test-bedding the use of plasma technology to improve odour treatment during the PWCS operations.

The Jurong-Clementi Town Council has also installed an odour treatment system to treat the air within the bin centre before it is discharged into the environment.

This process involves treating the air with a plant-based product.

No harmful chemicals are released in the process of this treatment.

While HDB and the town council continue to work on improving the situation, residents need to do their part to prevent chokes in the PWCS by disposing of waste properly.

Tan Chek Sim

Director (Urban Systems & Smart Services)

Housing & Development Board

Ho Thian Poh

General Manager

Jurong-Clementi Town Council

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2019, with the headline 'HDB looking at ways to cut odours from waste system'. Print Edition | Subscribe