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"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

6.23.2015

PNEUMATIC TUBES - OR JUST CREATE LESS WASTE

When I was a child, I was fascinated with pneumatic tubes that were in department stores, drugstore and other places. Frankly, I'm still a little thrilled for the rare times I bank at the drive-through and send my slip of paper zooming up the clear tube. 

Remember when Elon Musk announced that he wanted to build the Hyperloop? A large pneumatic tube system, it would could catapult humans through pods from, for example, Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour. Described as a "a cross between a Concord, a rail gun and an air hockey table," Musk announced iIn January of this year, that he planned to build a test track in Texas, I think using student teams to test it out. 

Now, in a new large complex being developed in Manhattan, there will be no garbage trucks, only pneumatic tubes to carry trash. 
The system should decrease the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills: residents will be able to drop recyclables and compost into designated chutes right outside their doors. By replacing trucks, the tubes will also cut down on noise and pollution—and, hopefully, on rats.
New York City has had pneumatic tubes that carry the trash from the tiny Roosevelt Island since the 1970's. And it used a system of tubes to transport mail in the first half of the 20th century. So, there's some precedent for New York City.  

So, are pneumatic tubes the answer?  Or should we all be generating less trash in the first place? 

Read the Atlantic article How To Stop Humans From Filling the World with Trash: 



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