Project type / City

The GrowSmarter Project

Envac has combined pneumatic waste collection with optical sorting using colour-coded bags for the globally renowned EU-funded GrowSmarter project. The dual-technology system, which incorporates smart control technology, offers feedback to users, owners and operators and has minimised Envac’s installation cost by collecting all waste streams through one inlet as opposed to allocating one inlet per stream.

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City
Existing, upgrading
9 waste inlets
4 waste fractions in different coloured bags
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The client

GrowSmarter/Stockholmshem

The brief

GrowSmarter is an EU-funded initiative created to bring together cities and industry in order to showcase 12 ‘smart city’ solutions in energy, infrastructure and transport across three Lighthouse cities.

Fostering collaboration between cities, businesses and academia in order to transform smart solutions into workable business models that can be rolled out across Europe also form part of its objectives.

Shortly after Stockholm was chosen as a Lighthouse city, Envac was selected to demonstrate the dual sustainability potential of its RFID waste monitoring ability and Optibag technology – an optical sorting system that separates multiple waste streams using colour-coded bags.

The project

A standalone Envac system was designed and built into a development in Årsta, a region in the southern part of Stockholm, which collects four waste fractions including residual, organics, plastic packaging and paper, and caters for 350 apartments and 450 users.

However, it is the way in which the collected waste is separated prior to collection and handled post collection that forms the focus of the GrowSmarter initiative. Combining RFID technology with optical sorting technology, waste deposited in each residential block can be weighed, measured and audited to provide the municipality with real-time data on waste being deposited by volume and type. The insights gleaned are used to change end users’ behaviours and increase recycling volumes.

Once deposited, the waste is then taken to a processing plant where it is automatically directed to the correct container based on the colour of the bag, a process made possible by optical sorting technology. As each type of waste stream is assigned its own colour of bag, only one Envac waste inlet is required to collect four fractions as opposed to one inlet for each individual stream. Similarly, only one collection truck is required to collect four waste streams, which saves resource and reduces waste collection-related carbon emissions.

The City of Stockholm is happy to have Envac as partner in this project. For us, it is important to continue showcasing new innovative solutions in order to develop a smarter and more inclusive Stockholm. Waste management is one of the areas we want to continue developing in order to minimise its impact on both the local and global environment.

Gustaf Landahl, Head of Department GrowSmarter coordinator at the City of Stockholm

Facts

Basic project information

Type of development City

Waste collection capacity 0,4 ton/day

Country Sweden

City Stockholm

Client Stockholmshem/GrowSmarter

Envac contract awarded 2015

Launched 2017

Design parameters

Type of project Retrofitting

Type of system Stationary Vacuum System

Pipe network dimension (mm) 400

Pipe network length (mts) Approx 500 mts

Nr. of waste fractions 4

Type of waste fraction Rest/Organic/Plastic and Paper

Nr. of storage tanks (MOVAC) N/A

Number of apartments 350

The result

The result

Envac’s inclusion in the GrowSmarter project has:

  • Established a scalable smart waste collection solution by providing the municipality with real-time data on waste disposal behaviours, times and the nature of the waste being deposited
  • Made the process of waste collection transparent. Through RFID technology and the subsequent data gathered, residents now know – and better understand – their waste footprint due to the feedback they receive
  • Played a critical role in shaping a sustainable city framework that will help to create sustainable cities EU-wide
  • Successfully integrated RFID technology to provide the municipality with actionable insights and promote positive change amongst Årsta residents
  • Reduced the physical footprint of bins by replacing four Envac inlets with only one, a process made possible by the inclusion of optical sorting technology
  • Provided the data and intelligence required to create an incentive scheme framework, which will be introduced to residents at the end of 2019
  • Provided a sustainable waste collection solution that uses airflow to collect and transport 130 tonnes of waste from the Envac inlets to the development’s collection station each year
  • Significantly reduced waste collection vehicle presence by replacing multiple waste collection trucks with only one

How it works

In the GrowSmarter project Envac combine pneumatic waste collection with optical sorting using colour-coded bags.

The dual-technology system, which incorporates smart control technology, offers feedback to users, owners and operators and
has minimised Envac’s installation cost by collecting all waste streams through one inlet as opposed to allocating one inlet per stream.

Images

Household waste is disposed of in multi-coloured bags.

A sensor registers the colour of the bag (= type of waste). The bags are weighed individually by the system.

The bags are transported in an underground pipe network to a container in a small waste collection station.

When the container is full it is taken to the optical sorting plant. The waste bags are unloaded.

The bags are transported through the plant on conveyor belts, and optically sorted colour by colour into separate containers.

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