Linen chutes have been used in hospitals for many years now, but there was a time when chutes were considered a bacterial hazard. The suspicion came not from the fact that the trash chute discharge and laundry chutes doors were not properly cleaned and maintained, but from a concern that contaminated air circulated from one floor to another through the chutes. The installation of chutes has been discontinued for a period due to this suspicion followed by the publication of numerous articles in the papers about this subject. However, carrying the trash and dirty laundry ten flours down was even more troublesome and it lead to waste and laundry pilling up for a couple of days until they were finally disposed of. This became an even more serious problem in the end considering the importance of a clean environment in hospitals. Soon after, the idea of using chutes again became again popular and the problem with the bacteria infection potential was easily solved by adding a ventilator to the chutes used in hospitals and later on by changing the whole design of the chutes.
Linen disposal chutes from several hospitals in America have been studied to verify the statement that airborne bacteria infestations were aided by the use of chutes in hospitals. The idea was that the air movement caused by the upward convection of air or the stack effect and the pumping of air that followed the discharge of linen down the chute. The conclusion of the study was not clear, but it showed the potential danger chutes that are not properly maintained and cleaned had. It also showed the importance of chute doors that closed automatically and air vents. The problems detected in the past have been solved with the help of innovative engineering and the latest technology has also allowed the apparition of even safer linen disposal chutes. Garbage and laundry chute today use advanced technology to ensure the safety of the users. From automatic doors to fire proof doors, the number of improvements brought to the modern chutes has increased tremendously in the past few years. Today, all modern linen chutes are equipped with a laundry chute fusible link.
All in all, trash and laundry chutes are a must in commercial buildings and hospitals. While bacterial contamination was a good reason to discontinue the use of chutes in the past, today, the problem has been solved with the help of modern technology. In fact, the need for chutes is even bigger considering the fact that the tendency is to construct higher and bigger buildings. The measures taken against airborne bacteria contamination include airtight chute doors with automatic shutting, deceleration tracks, the introduction of special fans and a better engineering construction of the entire chute. Nowadays, people have started to use trash and linen disposal chutes in their homes as well, saving them the effort of carrying laundry and garbage down the stairs to the basement and not allowing waste to deposit inside the house putting their health at risk.