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Neat solution to a messy problem in the capital

Bad news makes the headlines as we all know, and recently I’ve been reading about hordes of virulent rats stalking our capital’s streets, infesting every nook and cranny as piles of rubbish grow larger.

Hearing this, those of a nervous disposition could be excused for believing we are all about to die of the plague.

In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw a door with a big black cross painted on it the other day and a guy pushing his cart along the street calling, “Bring out your dead.”

But let us panic not, for near Wembley an enterprising developer called Quintain is working on a development that solves the waste problem in a way I believe points to the future.

Of course, things such as double glazing and air-conditioning – or comfort cooling as trendy developers like to call it – are included.

But the feature no home of the future is likely to be without is a vacuum waste disposal system that whisks away empty bottles of Blue Nun as fast as England batsmen depart the crease.

Quintain’s development is called Wembley City. At present there are 286 apartments, each with three small bins built into the kitchen cupboards to deal with non-recycling waste, dry recyclables and organic waste.

When your dinner party begins to wind down and you’re at the Trivial Pursuit, After Eights and Spanish brandy stage all you need to do is tip whatever is left into the correct bin and dismiss it from your mind.

Unseen, fancy technology collects all the rubbish in a series of chutes and tunnels after which it is automatically bagged.

The bags are then transported to a collection point half a mile away and collected by dustbin men – sorry, refuse disposal operatives – assuming that they aren’t on strike or there hasn’t been half an inch of snow that week.

This seems like a wizard idea to me. It’s called the Envac system and was designed in Sweden. It is already in use at Disneyland, Paris.

I imagine the green brigade will also love it, as Quintain claims vehicular visits to the development by the council will be cut by 90%.

And while I’m on the subject of cleaning up I notice that Southwark Council has at long last agreed to significantly revamp an area of Walworth called the Aylesbury Estate – better known locally as ‘Hell’s waiting room’ (pictured).

The reason I am interested in this news is that before the estate was considered a total no-go area by every lender I did quite a few Right to Buy valuations there – and Lord knows it was bad enough then.

The area is a perfect example of what has become known as a ‘sink estate’. This phrase was popularised in the 1980s by journalists and is still used today signify housing estates characterised by high levels of economic and social deprivation. Let’s hope the planners get it right this time.

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