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A High-tech, closed-tube system based on Finnish technology is to be used to gather rubbish from the World Expo sites and will be cleaner and more efficient than traditional methods, city officials said yesterday.

Expo officials said the automatic waste collection system will be installed inside all buildings and along the streets inside the World Expo zone.

The system is powered by negative pressure. When waste thrown into collection units reaches a fixed quantity, the system will be automatically activated so that negative pressure will send it to treatment centers.

After reaching the centers, the garbage will be instantly compressed. The system is completely automatic. Using closed tubing and instant compression means less smell is released into the air.

"We invested in this advanced system to see exactly how well it could work for improving garbage collection in the city,'' said Liang Chao, general manager of Shanghai Environment Industry Co.

The company handles 75 percent of the city's daily sanitation work and was authorized by the government to be the sanitary service provider for the Expo.

Y-shaped collection units will be installed every 50 to 70 meters along roads as well as inside each building in a 0.5-square-kilometer area in the World Expo zone in Pudong.

The company said a three-month trial period will begin next September.

About 160 tons of garbage will be produced each day inside the World Expo zones on both sides of the Huangpu River, the company estimates.

The tube system is able to handle 60 tons of waste a day. In the other Expo areas, waste will be collected in the traditional way. The company has invested 1 billion yuan (US$145 million) developing waste transport containers and a transport network using inland rivers.

"The containers are completely closed during transportation, which means no garbage can leak out and no smell escapes into the air,'' said Yuan Shumin, chief operating officer of the company's World Expo branch.

"The containers can each hold 25 to 30 tons of garbage, while a garbage truck can only take 3 to 8 tons," he said.

(Shanghai Daily December 18, 2008)

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