Gangnam-Gu, Seoul’s third largest district, has chosen automated waste collection system (AWCS) firm Envac to install an underground system that will span 399,741 sq. m on completion and include a subterranean pipe network over 15 miles long.
The Swedish-headquartered firm, which invented underground AWCS technology in 1961 and launched a Korean office in 1994, seemingly beat local rivals after what Gaepo JuKong 1st District Reconstruction Association, the developer responsible for the project, referred to as “Envac’s unparalleled organisational power and brand reputation”.
The two-fraction system will cover general waste and food waste, which will be collected by over 3,000 waste inlets placed throughout the site, both inside the buildings and in key strategic external locations such as walkways and entry and exit points. Each of the 3,000 waste inlets will be equipped with an RFID access card reader providing individual access to the automated waste collection system. Each inlet will also weigh the waste deposited by the households on an individual basis.
The inlets will feed into the underground pipe network and transport waste from each inlet to two dedicated waste collection stations on the outskirts of the development at speeds of up to 70 kph.
Collecting the waste of 6,642 residential units and 144 retail units, Envac’s latest South Korean installation is expected to transport three tonnes of general waste and six and a half tonnes of food waste each day using airflow alone.
YJ Kim, Chairman of the Reconstruction Association, comments: “Seoul is the beating heart of South Korea, so integrating a waste collection system that can not only keep the area clean and free from overflowing waste, but also help to create world-class living standards, was a natural choice. Envac’s inclusion in the development will benefit each and every resident and we have no doubt that this is the most efficient and convenient system currently available worldwide.”
Designed in to the development by architects Hyundai Construction & Hyundai Development Company, which specified a waste collection system that would enhance Gangnam’s urban realm and be operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Envac will now form a key component of the region’s infrastructure and represent a landmark feature within Seoul’s contemporary built environment.
Stephen Bahng, General Manager at Envac Korea, adds: “Winning such a prestigious contract is an exceptional achievement and one that has cemented Envac’s position as South Korea’s preferred choice of automated waste collection system. We’re delighted to be able to contribute towards shaping Gangnam’s environmental legacy and proud to be a part of such a prominent, sustainable and ground-breaking project. We now look forward to extending our presence throughout South Korea and demonstrating how waste collection can be used as a tool in which to enhance environments in densely populated cities throughout the country.”
The move reinforces the growing popularity for AWCS, which, in South Korea’s metropolitan cities – including Sejong City, the country’s new administrative capital –has seen Envac manage the waste of over 1.2 million people through several high-profile installations.
Installation of the system, which is valued at almost £23m, is expected to begin during the first half of 2019 and become operational at the beginning of 2022.