Project type / City

Stora Ursvik

The waste collection station is also the first BREEAM certified industrial building in Sweden, having achieved the international standard’s Excellent rating.

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New build
3 = Rest / Organic / Paper
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The client

Stora Ursvik, Sundbyberg, Sweden

The brief

Sundbyberg, located just north of Stockholm, is the smallest yet most densely populated municipality in Sweden.

With over 40 per cent of the municipality’s apartments connected to an automated waste collection system, Sundbyberg is proud to be the municipality that has the highest ratio of users than anywhere in the world.

Home to a number of districts that attract approximately 12,000 commuters to the area each day, the municipality is a thriving area. When Stora Ursvik, one of those districts and an area widely known as the city’s ‘green corner’, decided to minimise traffic in an around its residential and commercial areas to offset its daily influx of people and replace its multiple waste collection programmes with one unified and interconnected system, Sundbyberg appointed Envac to build on its reputation as a sopsugskommun – a vacuum waste municipality.

Envac quickly began designing a system that would be responsible for collecting nine tonnes of waste each day across three waste streams including general waste, food waste and paper.

The project

Envac designed in 300 waste inlets across an underground pipe network spanning 3,000m – an average of one inlet every 10 metres – to ensure comprehensive coverage and ensure maximum uptake from the 4,500 apartments and school that currently use the system.

Working closely with Stora Ursvik, Envac also developed a system that would maximise ground level space and enable the areas typically reserved for bin storage rooms to be used for additional residential living and commercial purposes. In keeping with Envac’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy, all waste is now transported underground at programmed intervals or when the inlets are full and waste collection vehicle movements and emissions have been significantly reduced.

Perhaps one of the most notable additions to the system is the 250m2 green wall, which envelopes the entire Envac collection station and contains 2,000 plants and over 20 varieties of grass and herbs. The living wall has ensured that even one of the only aboveground components of the Envac system blends seamlessly into the environment.

The collection station is also the first BREEAM certified industrial building in Sweden, having achieved the international standard’s Excellent rating.

On the development’s completion in 2025 Envac will handle the waste of at least 6,000 apartments.

The result

Stora Ursvik’s Envac system, which is 100 per cent owned by the municipality, became operational in 2014. A simulation carried out by Swedish consultant Sweco in 2007 for the project, which, at the time, included 3,488 flats and 135,000 sq. m of office space, demonstrated how the inclusion of a vacuum waste system would:

  • Save 20 – 30 sq. m of space per apartment building, each comprising approximately 40 units, which would have otherwise been designated for bin storage. The space has now been used to build more residential and commercial units, adding value to the developer and enabling Stora Ursvik to welcome more inhabitants and businesses to the area
  • Reduce annual waste collection-related traffic movements from 2,881 km (using traditional waste collection methods) to 250 km, making the area safer for children and adults
  • Decrease the number of junction crossings made by industrial vehicles from 19,188 to 1,972, further reducing the risk of industrial traffic-related incidents

Envac has also played a key role in helping the development achieve the internationally coveted BREEAM Excellent rating.


“Sundbyberg is a municipality with high ambitions when it comes to waste management and remains committed to meeting EU targets. Integrating automated vacuum waste collection within our waste collection strategy not only plays a key role in this but also enables us to maximise land space in an area where land prices are high and where the urban realm is densely populated. We’re pleased to now successfully be collecting food waste through the system and proud to be a vacuum waste collection municipality that uses the technology to improve the environment for everyone who lives and works within Sundbyberg Municipality.”

Nina Isaksen, Head of Department for Waste and Water at Sundbyberg Municipality


Basic project information

Type of development City

Waste collection capacity 9 tons per day

Country Sweden

City Sundbyberg

Client The Municipality of Sundbyberg

Envac contract awarded 2007

Launched 2014

Design parameters

Type of project New development

Type of system Stationary vacuum system

Pipe network dimension (mm) 400

Pipe network length (mts) 3,000

Nr. of waste fractions 3

Type of waste fraction Rest/Organic/Paper

Nr. of storage tanks (MOVAC) N/A

Number of apartments 6,000

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