What if we could put all our rubbish in a bin and have it whisked away as if by magic. In Narbonne, in the south of France, they are installing just such a system which should come into action in April 2008. No more noisy and smelly lorries.
The system, Envac, uses Swedish technology. Rubbish bins in the roads and even within some apartment blocks will be connected to an underground network and the rubbish will be transported by means of a pneumatic pressure to a treatment centre. The construction of this centre started last week.
The technology has been in existence since 1961 and is already used in Barcelona, Copenhagen and the airport at Kuala Lumpur. A quarter of the energy required will be provided by solar panels and the remainder will come from other forms of renewable energy. Although there is a cost of 5 million euros, this should lead to a significant reduction in the rubbish collection charges.