Automated Waste Collection in a Smart City


Image credit: Cottee Parker Architects

04 October 2019

Forgetting which bin to put on the curb each week could be a problem of the past in Maroochydore, QLD. Umow Lai has been working with Envac and Sunshine Coast Council on an automated waste collection system (AWCS) which will revolutionise the way the Sunshine Coast Council manages their waste collection to commercial and residential properties in the new Maroochydore CBD.

The system will be the first of its kind in Australia and is currently being implemented in the new Maroochydore CBD precinct. Rather than traditional collections means, waste in the new CBD will be collected from apartments and commercial buildings via a series of underground vacuum pipes. Travelling at up to 70 km per hour across a 6.5km network of tubes, the system negates the need for garbage trucks and wheelie bins making the heart of their city a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

As well as removing the unsightly bins and unpleasant smell from the streets, developing and implementing a sustainable waste solution that uses airflow instead of fossil fuels reduces airborne impurities, allows for 24/7 accessibility (regardless of storms, strikes or holidays) and is working towards creating urban environments which are quieter, more hygienic and environmentally friendly.

The Envac system allows for data collection through a central control system allowing optimisation of waste collection and improving efficiencies across the network. It will enable Council to incentivise residents to recycle and highlight high traffic areas which need additional resources in advance and prevent unpleasant bins overflowing in the streets.

Umow Lai are currently designing the in building AWCS systems for the first commercial buildings in the precinct. The new Sunshine Coast Council Headquarters and the Foundation Building developed by Evans Long.


Artists impression of Foundation Place. Image Credit: Cottee Parker Architects


Sunshine Coast City Hall .Image credit: Cottee Parker Architects

Working closely with the Council, Umow Lai have also helped create the AWCS design guidelines for future developments.

Umow Lai is one of the first firms to have Registered Professional Engineers of Queensland (RPEQ) qualified & Envac approved AWCS engineers on staff.

Committed to designing Smart City’s, we’re excited to build off our work with Sunshine Coast Council implementing sustainable waste solutions in more cities across Australia.




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