New York City's Trash-Sucking Island

By Alexis C. Madrigal

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My old Wired pals have a great photo gallery up of Roosevelt Island's novel trash disposal system. Six 300-horsepower motors power the pneumatic system, which can zip trash around at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The system is one of only two its size; the other is located at Disney World.

The system of pneumatic trash-sucking tubes running beneath the surface of New York City's Roosevelt Island is either a quirky relic or a glimpse of the future, depending on how you look at it.

A network of 20-inch tubes takes garbage from the island's 16 residential towers, collecting from every floor, to a central collection point where it is compacted and trucked off the island. It is at once a simple and elegant solution to gathering trash, and an aging and complicated beast that needs a lot of upkeep.

Read the full story at Wired.

Image: Jon Snyder/Wired.com


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/08/new-york-citys-trash-sucking-island/61536/