Roosevelt Island AVAC System – New York, New York - Atlas Obscura

Roosevelt Island AVAC System

On this island, you suck away your garbage via an elaborate pneumatic tube system. 


Crisscrossing beneath Roosevelt Island is a complex series of tubes not found in a majority of cities.

No, it’s not a subway system, it’s the Roosevelt Island Automated Vacuum Collection system.

One of only six of its kind to be used in the USA (the other major one is in Disney World), this incredible feat of Swedish engineering whisks away the garbage of all 20,000 inhabitants at speeds of up to 60 mph.

Trash is sucked out of the homes of Roosevelt Islanders through large pipelines using a complex system of air valves. The center where the garbage ends up is clean, modern and efficient, operated by a handful of engineers who monitor the waste disposal system from a glass box perched above the action.

Know Before You Go

It's the gray building just north of the Motorgate parking garage.

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February 27, 2012

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