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Japan’s new ‘vomit vacuum’ hard at work during end-of-year party season

JR East Environment Access

Modern technology has brought us so many amazing inventions in recent years, transforming our lives in a multitude of ways that we could never have imagined even just a few decades ago.

The latest piece of equipment to catch our eye is something that’s getting plenty of use during the final month of the year, mainly because for many people December is a time for hardcore partying.

Designed by a company in Japan, the “vomit vacuum” does exactly what it says on the tin: Suck up vomit from the ground without leaving so much as a trace of the smelly sludge that was there before.

While Christmas is celebrated a little differently in Japan, December is still a time for lots of fun, with company workers across the country indulging in raucous end-of-year parties. Trouble is, as the boozy evening draws to a close, a few inebriated revelers will end up spewing their dinner and drinks on the station concourse, or somewhere nearby, as they attempt to make their way home.

One busy station in Tokyo has to contend with as many as 60 piles of vomit on a typical Friday night, according to the Japan Times, with that figure doubling during December.

The unenviable task of removing vomit from several hundred train stations in eastern Japan is left to cleaning company JR East Environment Access. For years it’s been using the tried-and-tested method of sawdust, disinfectant, and brooms to clean up the vomit, but complaints from travelers that the procedure was inadequate prompted it to create the vomit vacuum.

The new machine, which has a transparent hose to help personnel quickly pinpoint issues such as blockages, uses a special liquid-absorbing powder that works much faster than sawdust. When the powder has done its job, the high-power vacuum cleaner applies disinfectant while sucking up the mess from the floor. Finally, the machine encases the vomit — and all those nasty odors — in a plastic bag, thereby removing all traces of the calamity that occurred there moments before. The new system prevents any stains from being left behind, and in terms of hygiene is far more effective than the old method.

JR East Environment Access plans to sell the special vacuum cleaner to other cleaning companies responsible for bus stations, restaurants, and any other places where bodily functions can sometimes misfire at the end of a particularly wild night out.

If all this talk of vacuum cleaners has piqued your interest in a more conventional design for home cleaning that’s a little less challenging than the shenanigans detailed above, then do take a moment to check out Digital Trends’ informative guide to the best vacuum cleaners available today.

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