About Barking Riverside

Located along the banks of the River Thames and covering 443 acres, Barking Riverside – a partnership between The Mayor of London and L&Q – will include 10,800 new homes of mixed size and style, up to 50 per cent of which will be affordable housing, when the site is fully developed.

Plans to provide 65,000 square metres of commercial floor space for shopping, restaurants, cafés, community and leisure facilities, healthcare and schools also feature heavily in its overall vision, as well as a brand new train station to increase access to the heart of the capital.

As part of the project’s commitment to placemaking and ensuring that its residents have access to sustainable living space, Barking Riverside commissioned Envac to design and install its pneumatic waste collection system, which, upon completion, will be one of Europe’s largest.

3 fractions

residual, dry recyclables, cardboard

460 inlets

replacing 19 000 traditional bins. Saving space and contributing to the aesthetics

16 tons of waste/day

total capacity because of a pipe network of 8,700 meter and with a dimension of 500 mm

105 tons of cardboard

prevented from being sent to landfill annually

98% cut

of on-street bins

90% reduction in carbon emissions

from removing the need for on-site waste collection trucks

The Envac system at Barking Riverside

Launched in 2018, Envac’s system has cut on-street bins by 98 per cent and waste collection-related carbon emissions by 90 per cent by removing the need for on-site waste collection trucks.

It currently transports the waste of around 2,000 homes through an underground pipe network via airflow. The system has already had a transformational impact on residents’ recycling rates.

During April 2023, 47 per cent of all waste at Barking Riverside was recycled – higher than the London average of 12 per cent for flatted properties.

Discover the Envac system

The launch of UK’s first super shredder

Envac has launched the UK’s first ever residential cardboard shredder at Barking Riverside, one of Europe’s largest housing developments. The move will allow residents from approximately 2,000 homes to sustainably manage large volumes of cardboard waste, preventing around 105 tonnes of cardboard from being sent to landfill annually.

Dave Buckley, Managing Director at Envac UK (centre) is joined by Matthew Carpen, Managing Director at Barking Riverside (centre right, in high vis), Paul Miller, Deputy Managing Director – Business Strategy and Finance at Barking Riverside (left), Chris Harrison, Headteacher at George Carey School Primary School (far right) and pupils from the school.

Retail packaging-related cardboard waste is on the rise, with the average household receiving over 200 cardboard boxes yearly in home deliveries.

With the ability to shred an unlimited amount of cardboard and the capacity to transport four cubic metres of the material from the shredder to the collection station in only 26 seconds, the new addition to the Envac system will radically improve the sustainability of waste collection at Barking Riverside.

The 88cm wide cardboard shredder, which can shred packaging as large as TV boxes, is the largest ever to be used in a residential environment. It is also the first time that residential cardboard collection has been handled by vacuum waste collection in the UK, which will see large volumes of cardboard ‘sucked’ in an underground pipe network from the shredder to the collection station every day.

The giant cardboard shredder has been connected to Barking Riverside’s existing automated waste collection system. The system and cardboard shredder were specified by master developers Barking Riverside Limited (BRL), a joint venture between L&Q and The Mayor of London, as part of their commitment to embed positive recycling behaviours within the neighbourhood early on.

Barking Riverside’s cardboard waste recycling system is accessed via radio frequency identification (RFID) tags made available to residents. When residents have cardboard waste to recycle, they simply take it to the inlet and feed it through the shredder. When the inlet becomes full, or at pre-programmed times, high-powered fans located in the collection station create negative airflow that ‘sucks’ the waste through the pipes.

Our sustainability-led ethos and commitment to making this a clean, green and pleasant area in which to live led us to this ground-breaking method of waste collection
RFID is used to open inlet doors
Terminal building
The Globe and The Wilds Centre. Envac’s UK office is in the Wilds building and the waste terminal is right below on street level, facing the back yard – Courtesy: Solent Sky Services

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