Project type / City

Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City

Tianjin Eco-City is the first city in China Mainland to separate waste at source.

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New build
400 waste inlets
2 waste fractions, General waste/Organic
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The client

Eco-City Environment Protection Company

The brief

Tianjin Eco-City, a Sino-Singapore city, is the second largest government-to-government project between Singapore and China.

It is also a groundbreaking development underpinned by visionary goals including a desire to create a city that is socially harmonious, environmentally friendly and resource efficient.

Against the backdrop of rapid urbanisation, and in order to deliver on its commitment to creating sustainable and resource efficient communities, Envac was awarded the contract to install a pneumatic waste collection system to serve 32 residential communities and 20 public buildings in 2009.

The project

To support the concept of the development, which was to incorporate sustainable solutions that are affordable, commercially viable and scalable, Envac set about designing a system that would support a local population of 350,000 people and provide a legacy for future generations.

Envac’s technology would also play a key role in helping the city achieve its waste management goals, which included recycling 60 per cent of its waste by 2017 – an aim reinforced by the fact that Tianjin Eco-City is the first city in Mainland China to separate waste at source.

Collecting general and organic waste from 400 waste inlets across the 8km2 site, Tianjin’s Envac system launched in 2012 and has subsequently been responsible for transporting 29,200 tonnes of waste from the waste inlets to the collection station, which is located on the outskirts of the city.

Using an underground pipe network spanning 10,500 metres – over 6.5 miles – in length, Tianjin’s Envac system will automatically transport over 87 tonnes of waste each day when the site is fully developed in 2020.

The result

Since becoming operational in 2012, Envac has:

  • Enabled Tianjin Eco-City Environment Protection Company to build more apartments to address urban density by freeing up space that would have been required to store traditional bins
  • Supported Tianjin Eco-city’s goals of becoming a beacon of sustainable excellence by incorporating the latest sustainable waste collection technology
  • Removed waste collection trucks from the streets of Tianjin Eco-City, making the street scene more pleasant and helping to achieve the development’s ambitious air quality targets
  • Helped Tianjin Eco-City meet its waste targets of recycling 60 per cent of all waste generated within the city
  • Seamlessly transported huge volumes of waste underground using a process that ensures waste collection remains unseen, unheard and is not smelt by the local population, which has added value to the environment
  • Installed a system that can be scaled up according to Tianjin Eco City’s growth; additional buildings can simply be connected to the Envac pipework as and when required
  • Reduced waste collection vehicle movements by 90 per cent, which has created a more inclusive, safe and environmentally friendly city


Basic project information

Type of development City

Waste collection capacity 87 tons per day

Country China

City Tianjin

Client Eco-City Environment Protection Company ltd.

Envac contract awarded 2009

Launched 2012

Design parameters

Type of project New build

Type of system Stationary Vacuum System

Pipe network dimension (mm) 500

Pipe network length (mts) 10,500

Nr. of waste fractions 2

Type of waste fraction General waste and organic

Nr. of storage tanks (MOVAC) N/A

Number of apartments

“Tianjin Eco-City provides an excellent example of how forward-thinking cities are responding to issues surrounding climate change, shrinking resources and growing populations in order to benefit those who inhabit them. Envac is one of the environmental solutions that have helped us to realise our ambitious vision for the city and meet our aims and objectives on multiple levels. Envac is not only meeting the needs of the community it serves today, but also we’re confident that it will continue to meets the needs of the communities of Tianjin Eco-City in many decades to come.”

Yongjian Yang, Project Manager at Eco-City Environment Protection Company

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