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Waste containers on top of the buildings

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/ni9mKm62QnA

J. Nikola
J. Nikola Oct 01, 2022
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  • to remove the trash and nasty trash containers away from the street and pedestrian area
  • to stop other people from throwing waste into your trash container
  • to make every building responsible for its own waste
  • to reduce the noise and the pollution from the garbage trucks
  • to make it possible for the trash to be handled by automatic electrically-powered drones in future
How would it work?
People who choose this way of managing waste would pay a monthly subscription to a company dependent on the amount of waste they produce as a household, more households (discounts for grouped households) or an entire residential or business building. The subscription would include installing a recycling unit on top of their building or at an attic with an oppening on the roof, smart cards for every user and trash bags of different colour.
You would take the trash out on the roof and throw it into the specific waste container. The container would open only when you scan your user card, keychain device or a smartphone app. The container would weight your waste and take a quick test to see if you threw that exact type of waste into the right container. If everything ok, you would get awarded with points.
Every user would have specific number of points it can collect in that subscription package. If you had more waste than subscribed on, you would pay a small fee based on how much you crossed. Similar like with phones and tarrifs, you would be able to change a subscription whenever.
When the container is 70-80% full, it would send a signal to the local collection unit who would empty the container. In the transitional period the container could be emptyed by descenting the container and bringing an new empty one, emptying it through the easy-to-mount vertical pipes on the buildings or collecting it by solar-powered drones and bringing a new one.
The trash should be collected by drones only when there are no passengers on the street. Also, they should use the roots with the least traffic.
Trash should be taken upstairs by the user or by the elevator. I currently cannot think of an easier way. Maybe a new job could be thought of - the waste bag carriers.
Additional information
Part of the waste could also be used to power the electrical grid of the household or a building (biowaste). Solar-powered waste recycling units on top of the buildings could be supplied with on-site recycling machines that would reduce the volume of the waste, press it or similar.
Creative contributions

Dealing with the birds

Povilas S
Povilas S Oct 03, 2022
I suspect that birds might be a big problem regarding this. On the streets, they are deterred by the noise and movement of people and cars, but on the rooftops, it would be perfect for them to stalk and feed on some fresh trash. The containers could be locked away from them, but the problem would persist during times when the trash is taken out, or the containers are being emptied.
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J. Nikola
J. Nikola6 months ago
As you said, I would close the containers so the birds cannot approach. During the emptying, the noise and the wind from the drone or other collecting methods would probably have the same effect as the cars and people on the street. However, some ultrasonic bird scaring devices could be implemented into the container.
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Povilas S
Povilas S6 months ago
J. Nikola Yes, I think some additional measures would be necessary, it just seems too comfortable of a place for birds to "hang out" not to cause problems. They'd not only disturb the staff (or drones) during the emptying of the containers but also likely the residents walking on the roof when/if they would carry the trash bags upstairs to throw them into the containers
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Roof cranes or facade elevators with auxiliary waste processing unit.

Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo Oct 05, 2022
One feasible way to introduce waste containers on top of buildings on city architecture, would be to include roof cranes of facade elevators such that there could be a low cost technology to afford installing on roofs small waste plants, capable to pre-process waste and arrange production on waste containers fitted to the roof crane / facade elevator, in a way that can be brought to ground in a place in which garbage trucks can pass and receive the load. Because the building's small waste plants would be capable of processing trash, one would expect that on the transfer process between the building transportation system and trash truck there wouldn't be any losses.
By using actual technology like roof cranes or facade elevators, the idea can be introduced right away with real opportunity if buildings can handle the estimated payload of the waste storage and waste pre-process plant and initial investment can be carried out by building owners. New projects could be included as default.
But even so, It could be initiated by dimensioning a proper building waste plan such that structural calculus complies and special arrangements should be established with trash truck routes to synchronize pickups. And both proposed systems are designed to be installed on the outside, so they could be included in already existing buildings.
This alternative will comply with the idea that there is no trash on the street.
How it works
Buildings administration invest on a designed waste plant to pre-process (and this is a full subject to develop, what would it imply to pre-process waste in order to be efficient) apartments generated trash, it would require installing a small load elevator, to take to the roof the trash. The waste plant is capable of transferring the production to a container designed to be taken down over a mechanical system. Buildings administration will invest too, on a roof crane or facade elevator system property sized to manage containers full capacity pre-processed waste load. The administration should arrange with trash trucks companies a new delivery schedule.
If the designed system does not comply with the trash truck intake system, the project will have an external threat in a way that would require modifying standard trash trucks, or building new ones. So maybe it would be better to design those containers in a way that complies with trash trucks.
Also because in buildings the trash shoot acts upon gravity the over cost to take the trash upstairs would impact the project.
The key point here is the possibility of using the building's roof in a clever way and improving the city habitational overall by reducing trash on the streets.
what other threats and benefits do you find in this alternative?

[1]ROOF MOUNTED CRANES, 2004, https://www.cranestodaymagazine.com/features/roof-mounted-cranes

[2]PORTABLE ROOFTOP CRANES, https://thompsonmiller.com/portable-cranes

[3]SOLUCIONES EUROSCAF PARA LAS FACHADAS – ELEVADORES PARA LA OBRA, https://www.euroscaf.it/professional-users-spain/

[4]Facade Elevators On Modern Building, https://www.pond5.com/es/stock-footage/item/71950661-facade-elevators-modern-building

[5]FACADE ELEVATOR SYSTEMS, https://www.bmsservis.com/en/urunler/cephe-asansorleri

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J. Nikola
J. Nikola6 months ago
The idea is great since it can be applied to the existing infrastructure. However, it's heavily impacting energy consumption. If every building had a pre-processing unit, it would increase the costs of implementation, service and usage, which would negatively reflect on the electricity bill.
Defined dimensions of "waste packs"
However, there is one idea I had in mind, not necessarily connected to this, but applicable. If developed well, the waste processing units could create waste "pellets" or "bricks" that are packed denser and smaller in volume than the trash bags. In that form, waste could be accumulated longer before the pickup. It would also be easier to store, transport, brought down to the street level, carried away by drones and recycled since the dimensions would be defined by the processing unit and regular shapes would allow better space usage (especially in garbage trucks). This type of pre-processed waste could even be compliant with the Uber-like waste collection service proposed here. (Pictures taken from Unsplash)
"Decentralization" of waste management
Another thing I find interesting is increasing the involvement of each individual in the process of waste collection, processing and recycling. Your proposal could engage people in thinking of solutions on how to pre-process, recycle or sell the waste (handling your waste as a business).
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Marco Agudelo
Marco Agudelo6 months ago
J. Nikola The waste packs could work fine. Should be evaluated if those can be carried out on garbage trucks or would require additional transportation needs. Although I’m not sure if the hydraulic system of garbage trucks design could handle the forces that would be caused during the material handling. Sure could be a good option too. In my contribution I initially suggest the need to pre-process the trash, as a requirement to handle the garbage in a proper way into a new system and I think in this point we agree it is a notorious advantage.
About the financial impact, I will add that a complementary system that enhances operation comes with an increase in energy consumption.
Think for example of the stories about handling human waste disposal . There is little information about the subject. It is not well documented how exactly it was done, but the idea that they were thrown away in the simplest manner is a common starting point to refer to the subject. If you compare the money invested and energy requirements of the evolution of this, you would see that even though it costs more it is far desired. The idea of consuming more energy as civilizations improves is aligned with the Kardashev scale concept for measuring the evolution of a civilization. So maybe if energy starts costing less, it is easier and cleaner to produce it, then the impact on the cash flow wouldn’t be too much. Maybe even with the actual electricity business model the cash flow wouldn’t be impacted. I refer not to the initial investment which I will comment further on this contribution but the monthly payment per apartment. Because garbage trucks continue to pick up and handle in a very similar way. And I think that the handling is where it has the most impact on the business model.
Because you may implement the system with current technology this may facilitate initial investment. It will require investment on a (1) pre-process garbage plant, on a (2) material elevator to take to the roof apartments garbage, and (3) a roof crane system. All this considering it is all designed as a business project but that is yet another subject. Definitely it would need a financial analysis, so alternatives are required to induce viable ways to tackle the problem.

[1]Karl Smallwood, 2017, Did People in the Middle Ages Really Throw Fecal Matter Out of Their Windows?, http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2017/11/people-middle-ages-really-just-poop-window/

[2]Wu Mingren , 2018, Cheerio and Gardi Loo! Words of Warning Prompted By Medieval Human Waste Disposal, https://www.ancient-origins.net/history-ancient-traditions/medieval-sanitation-0010886

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Reverse garbage chutes

Povilas S
Povilas S Oct 03, 2022
Something similar to garbage chutes, just a reverse option where the trash is being lifted up would be very useful for realizing this idea. All you need is a small shaft and elevator to lift the trash bags up and a robotic system to transfer the contents of the elevator to the garbage containers on the roof.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni6 months ago
Or a suction pipe that sends the package to the top. Every household has a garbage disposal duct. Instead of the garbage bag going down it will go up. While one garbage bag is being taken up, the other households won't be able to open the door to the duct since it works on the suction principle. The suction pipe process already exists, we simply need to utilize it for garbage disposal.
Surplus solar power could be used for this purpose.
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Povilas S
Povilas S5 months ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni Nice, I didn't even know such parcel transportation systems exist. Aparently, it could be used to power elevators and even trains!


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J. Nikola
J. Nikola6 months ago
Something connected to the elevator that could also serve as a solution to this challenge?
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