April 24 2014

Submerged Bins in Populous Areas of Athens, Greece

The installation of new submerged bins in populous areas of Athens is expected to be completed by April. This project began as a pilot programme in 2004 by Athens’ Municipality and is now finally going to be implemented formally. The first bin was installed a few days ago in Agios Thomas Square in the Goudi area.

Τhe installation of a submerged bin is expected over the next few days in the Ilisia area and 20 more will follow.

Submerged waste disposal in Athens, Greece

The first bin was installed in Goudi in order to discharge the area from the great amounts of rubbish that was created mainly by the two hospitals, which are located there.

In the immediate future there will be new bins in the following districts: Pagrati, the corner of Mesogion and Vasilisis Sofias, the corner of Papada and Andersen, Koumoundourou Square, in the three cemeteries of the city, in Kriezotou Street in the Kolonaki area and others.

Each bin has a capacity of 12 to 20 cubic metres, as it has a system that compresses the rubbish and thereby can replace 45 conventional bins. Some of the bins that are going to be installed will be even larger, and could replace almost 70 conventional ones.

Conventional waste disposal in Athens, Greece

The capacity of the bins depends on the type of rubbish and the way that it is placed into the trash bags.”The municipality will demonstrate to the citizens how they ought to throw away their trash and encourage them to compress it as much as they can,” states the deputy mayor in charge of sanitation and adds, “These bins won’t be used for recyclable materials.”

The garbage disposal of the new bins will be scheduled for every second day. Some bins’ installations will be delayed because of the many archaeological findings, which come to light during the excavations.

The submerged bins have been used for several years in many European cities and are considered a great success, as thanks to their design, they combine cleanliness, saving on disposal space and at the same time there are no unpleasant smells as these bins are washed every second day.

The submerged bins are financed under NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework) and the total cost will amount to about 2.6 millions euros.

Submerged Bins for recycling in Catalunya, Greece

How do these bins work?

The submerged bin in Goudi is at a depth of three and a half metres and on the surface there is an opening funnel into which people can throw the trash.

The bin is monitored via a telematics system, which informs the sanitation service when it is full. This system will help the collection of statistical information and at the same time the bins will have their own alarm system, to avoid vandalism.

Are there submerged bins in the city you live? Do you find them practical?

The original article, published in Greek, can be found here.

Credits : Images and data linked to sources.

Dafni Dimitriadi

Dafni Dimitriadi is a student of Architecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her numerous experiences in participating in architectural competitions have helped her understand the importance of research and design. She is interested in building and urban design restoration and aims to continue her studies in order to gain more knowledge related to these fields. She is an active volunteer and has participated in many interesting projects, including Open House Thessaloniki. She currently lives in Thessaloniki and through her blogs aims to explore developments associated with architecture and urban design.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at 9:01 am and is filed under Environment, Technology, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


2 Responses to “Submerged Bins in Populous Areas of Athens, Greece”

  1. Christopher Wilcott Says:

    Hi, I recently saw these sorts of bins in Amsterdam and parts of France. They seem like a great idea as they keep the streets tidy and also keep the unsightly garbage bins out of site.

    Here in Edmonton, Canada, I think that our climatic issues (snow piles) would likely make this sort of innovation difficult to do. However, Edmonton is a leader in waste diversion in North America. Check out this video about how we recycle construction waste:

  2. Hibai Unzueta Says:

    There is a fundamental flaw in submerging waste bins.

    As the city council representative states, the goal is compressing and hiding waste away from citizens. The emphasis is not put on reduction and quality separation for recycling, but on compressing waste and keeping it out of sight. As it is reported, these wastebins are not for recyclable materials, which is a very bad starting point because we know that up to 80-90% of domestic waste can be recycled.

    Waste should be collected in a tidy way, but it must be visible. Making it visible doesn’t mean leaving banana peels on the pavement, but collecting each neighbours waste at their own bin, in a way that others can tell if they are doing an acceptable separation job. Waste reduction and recycling is a very social act. This method can reach high levels of separation for recycling (up to 80%). This levels are unattainable if the individual responsibility of separating waste is hidden away with submerged bins.

    Out of sight, out of mind. A well managed waste collection system is tidy on the surface. A badly managed waste collection system is also apparently tidy when submerged. In addition to that, submerging the bins, specially when pneumatic systems are used, increases waste collection costs in virtually every city that is using them.

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