Cork City Council installs €350,000 a year "robot trees" to battle air pollution
The Council said the controversial robot trees will "not replace" normal ones.
Cork City Council has installed five high-tech "robot trees" which cost €350,000 a year to maintain to battle air pollution at St Patrick’s Street and on the Grand Parade near the City Library.
The CityTrees promise to absorb 80% of fine dust particles from the air as they are covered in special mosses which act as a "trap" for harmful pollutants.
It has also been claimed that a CityTree can "reduce fine dust pollution in its immediate vicinity by up to 53%".
"The first of our CityTrees were installed today on St Patricks Street," Cork City Council confirmed on Twitter.
"CityTrees help combat fine dust particle pollution and other pollution associated with traffic congestion," it added.
The 1st of our CityTrees were installed today on St Patricks St.
CityTrees help combat fine dust particle pollution &other pollution associated with traffic congestion.
Air pollution causes up to 1,300 deaths each yr, says @EPAIreland
👩💻Check out https://t.co/b4H0SfyTJP pic.twitter.com/F5E0kBJabq
— Cork City Council (@corkcitycouncil) August 9, 2021
The Council added that while the trees won't replace real ones, they are hopeful they will "complement them".
"CityTrees do not replace our trees but complement them. We are planting 1,300 trees in parks & communities in 2021," it continued.
David Joyce, Director of Operations with Cork City Council, told Newstalk on Tuesday that the project will take place alongside efforts to plant more trees in the region.
“Cork City Council has plans to plant 1,300 trees in 2021 alone. We have planted thousands of trees in recent years," he said.
“A CityTree is a completely different entity than a normal tree. A normal tree you plant… will convert carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen… will store the carbon in the tree trunk, and release the oxygen back into the atmosphere.
“A CityTree is very, very different. It targets particulate matter in the atmosphere - dust in effect, that comes out from internal combustion engines in vehicles and the burning of fossil fuels.
"The moss eats the dust, and therefore cleans 80% of the dust out of the air.”
Joyce added that "extensive research" had been done ahead of the decision to develop the CityTrees.
“They do have an impact - they are a proven technology. This is not something that has been dreamt up overnight," he added.
Main image via Twitter/CorkCityCouncil.