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22/05/2013 | Meio Ambiente

Keeping the trash away from the view

Today, anyone who walks through Barão de Tefé Street, in Gamboa – one of the districts that are being remodeled in the Port Region of Rio de Janeiro – may not notice two nondescript trashcans on the sidewalk. But a more attentive person will soon see that, under them, there is false flooring: it’s there, [...]

Today, anyone who walks through Barão de Tefé Street, in Gamboa – one of the districts that are being remodeled in the Port Region of Rio de Janeiro – may not notice two nondescript trashcans on the sidewalk. But a more attentive person will soon see that, under them, there is false flooring: it’s there, under the earth, that the brand new district stores the trash collected from households and streets – therefore, far away from the eyes that meander through the city’s new tourist attraction.

“The benefits are huge. First, we avoid accumulating trash on the streets, which brings rats and causes stench. Also, during the rainy season, this keeps the trash from being dragged to the gutters, causing floods”, explains the president-director of the Porto Novo Concessionaire, José Renato Rodrigues Pontes.

The Coleta + Rio [Collection +Rio], which will have 42 containers – 21 for organic products and another 21 for recyclables –, will be arriving in Brazil for the first time, and was inspired by the system adopted in the city of Portimão, in Portugal. The system will have two underground deposits with capacity to store five tons of trash each. Using a key, an employee opens the deposit without much effort. Immediately afterwards, a special garbage truck is sent to hoist the containers via remote control.

With the new system, the collection can be done every three days, which minimizes the truck’s impact on traffic and, consequently, the carbon gas emissions on the environment. Each underground container has a storage capability of 3 thousand liters of material – or 12 times more than a regular trash container.

The building of the system is also relatively simple. The excavation of the underground deposits is done as the remodeling repairs advance in the region. The new streets that are appearing in the Port Region have wider sidewalks, restructured sanitation and the installation of ducts for underground cables. The whole system is expected to be fully functional by 2015.

Besides, Porto Novo has already made contact with garbage collectors associations. The idea is to give everything that will be collected in the region to the garbage collectors, who will be responsible for the selection of the recyclable material. The Concessionaire is responsible not only for the building work on the area, but also for the trash collection on the streets and households. Porto Novo collects, on average, 2,6 tons of trash a month on the Port Region – 1,1 mil tons from the streets and 1,5 mil tons from households.

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