Manpower-lean waste system raises a stink

Complaints of foul smell but residents also note fewer pests and cleaner floors

Residents in Yuhua complained in a television report two weeks ago of foul smells arising from blockages in the tubes.
Residents in Yuhua complained in a television report two weeks ago of foul smells arising from blockages in the tubes. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Several metres underground in a mature HDB estate in Jurong East, rubbish bags are sucked into pipes at high speed and transported to a collection centre farther away, where they are compacted and sealed in containers.

With a promise to minimise the manpower needed to clear refuse chutes as well as pests and odours, such pneumatic waste conveyance systems were first rolled out at 38 HDB blocks in Yuhua in 2015. The idea was that this trial could one day be implemented on a larger scale.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 15, 2018, with the headline 'Manpower-lean waste system raises a stink'. Print Edition | Subscribe