Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Less odour with Yuhua's automated waste collection system

Go high-tech and trash the stinky chute woes
By Yeo Sam Jo, The Straits Times, 2 Jun 2015

FOUL-SMELLING rubbish chutes will soon be a whiff of the past at Jurong's Yuhua estate, as blocks there get retrofitted with high-tech waste-collection infrastructure.

Since early last month, six blocks in Yuhua have been using the pneumatic waste-conveyance system. It uses vacuum-type underground pipes to automatically gather household garbage, doing away with the usual manual collection, and the accompanying pests and smell.

Residents throw waste down the chute as normal but underground, it is sucked away to a central bin centre.

A total of 38 blocks in the estate, or about 3,200 households, will have it by the third quarter of this year, as part of the Housing Board's Greenprint programme.

If deemed feasible, the same system will be rolled out in other housing estates.

As waste collectors need to retrieve garbage from only one point and less frequently, it is estimated to reduce manpower needs by 70 per cent, said HDB's deputy director of technology research Tan Chek Sim.

He added that this method gives residents a cleaner and greener environment: "The entire time, rubbish is not exposed. There is no spillage so there is less smell."

Residents in blocks which have piloted the system agreed. "We don't have to worry so much about pests like cockroaches now," said housewife Helen Leong, 45.

Retiree Kwek Han Tiang, 67, said: "It's great that we have new technology like this. Singapore is a First World country, after all."

HDB cautioned that bulky items such as pillows might choke the pipes, which are 50cm in diameter and run about 4.6km. But if this happens, the suction power will be automatically increased to unclog the blockage, said Mr Tan. There are also manholes which allow for manual access to the pipes, if needed.

While some HDB blocks in Kim Keat, Choa Chu Kang and Clementi were also test beds for the system, the one in Yuhua is the largest in Singapore. Upcoming projects in Tampines North, Bidadari and Punggol Northshore will also feature the system.

The Greenprint scheme for Yuhua, which started in 2012 and will end this year, aims to transform the estate into Singapore's first green neighbourhood. It is estimated to cost $23 million.

Other green initiatives include rooftop solar panels.

The pneumatic waste-collection system is expected to account for more than half the cost, given its large scale and extensive network of underground pipes, said HDB.

* Yuhua now a 'green neighbourhood' after revamp
With the completion of HDB Greenprint @ Yuhua, residents there now have access to energy-efficient features, as well as water and waste management, says HDB.
Channel NewsAsia, 27 Nov 2015

The completion of the HDB Greenprint @ Yuhua project means residents there are the first to experience "sustainable living" in an existing public housing estate, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday (Nov 27).

The project, which was launched in 2012, aimed to bring energy efficient, water and waste management features to the estate. The blocks in the project range from 209 to 240 at Jurong East Street 21 and comprises about 3,200 households, the press release said.

#Greenprint #PeopleofYuhuaWe marked the completion of HDB’s Greenprint Project at Yuhua over the weekend. The precinct...
Posted by Grace Fu on Thursday, December 3, 2015

Among the features introduced is the Pneumatic Waste Conveyance System, which makes use of high speed air suction to transport household waste to the Centralised Bin Centre. As it is enclosed and automated, this method reduces waste spillage, foul smells and pest issues, HDB said.

The project has also enabled limited resources to be used more sustainably over the long term. For example, with the Elevator Energy Regeneration Systems installed in the lifts of 16 blocks, they now use an average of 20 per cent less energy compared to conventional lifts, HDB said.

As a result of the revamp, Yuhua was awarded the Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark Award (Platinum) for existing residential buildings - the highest accolade under the award scheme, it added.

"HDB will continue working towards making every town and estate more liveable with sustainable initiatives that improve the lives of our residents," HDB CEO Cheong Koon Hean said in the press release.

Smart devices being trialled in residents’ homes in Yuhua
Ten households in Yuhua are participating in a trial that is studying the usefulness and user-friendliness of smart devices in a lived-in environment.
By Loke Kok Fai, Channel NewsAsia, 28 Nov 2015

Ten households in Yuhua have been participating in a trial to experience, first-hand, the use of smart devices in a lived-in environment. The trial began in Oct 2015, and runs until March or April 2016.

The trial seeks to study the usefulness and user-friendliness of such devices, and how residents can benefit from such technologies. It will also enable government agencies to better understand the receptiveness of residents towards adopting smart solutions, and whether it had impacted their lifestyle and behaviours.

It follows the Housing Development Board (HDB) July 2015 announcement that Yuhua residents will be the first to experience Smart Living in an existing HDB estate.

Participating households had the opportunity to try technologies in one or two areas at no cost - home utilities management, or elderly monitoring systems - depending on factors such as whether they had elderly dependents and their IT savviness.

But some raised concerns over the possible high costs of implementing these solutions after the trial period. Addressing these concerns, Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu, who is also the MP for Yuhua, said the trial did not obligate them to buying the systems being tested.

"It serves the purpose of trying to assess the usefulness of the system to the people,” said Ms Fu. “With the feedback from residents, we're able to know how useful these systems are, and try out different systems."

She added: "At the end of this trial project, we will have to engage the residents about the usefulness and effectiveness, and also at what price points their willing to pay."

Following this trial, HDB and Infocomm Development Authority will extend these smart solutions to all 3,200 Yuhua households in early 2016, available for purchase.

The estate is also the first to complete the HDB Greenprint programme this month, aimed at bringing energy-efficient, water management and waste management features into the estate.

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