In Gyeonggi-Do, Yongin City, a regional decision has been taken stating that all new building projects involving more than 700 apartments must have a vacuum waste collection system for the waste handling. The decision is part of a development program to create a greener city. The ambition is that 30 percent of the area of city should be a green belt.
Land & Housing Corporation of Korea.
In 1996, Korea Land Corporation(current name is Land & Housing Corporation) signed an agreement with Envac in the second phase of the Suji project. The goal of the collaboration was to customise an automated waste solution to the city's requirements. In 1997, installation of the underground system for waste management was begun and in January 2000 it could be taken into use.
In 2002, following a request from the municipal government, the waste pipe network was extended to collect waste generated by an adjoining residential area of around 6,000 households. This extension work was successfully completed in 2003 within the client’s project timeline.
Today, this underground network deals with two waste fractions from about 14,000 households, countless numbers of shops, restaurants and offices in the area.
The installation is one of the largest of its kind, and not just in Korea. The underground system links together 105 buildings of differing heights, 14 to 20 apartment buildings and transports 28 tons of waste every day
Waste becomes a valuable asset
The large volume of waste is separated into two fractions. One part goes to incineration and the other to landfill. The waste that is transported to incineration does not need to be loaded and unloaded, but is converted directly into heating and electricity for the 14,000 residences in the area. This re-cycling policy means that the waste becomes a valuable resource instead of a burden.
Technology becomes obligatory
The Sooji installation is one of several similar facilities in Korea. The technology has been received with great interest and several Korean cities are now considering using the underground system for waste management in their urban development plan.
The benefits that are swaying the authorities to consider this solution are the impacts on the quality of life and on the environment. An evaluation of the Sooji project reveals that more than 90% of the inhabitants are satisfied with the system and that 70% are convinced that it has contributed added value to their houses.