The brief

GrowSmarter was 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 – Stockholm, Barcelona and Cologne.

Envac was selected to demonstrate the dual sustainability potential of its RFID waste monitoring ability combined with optical sorting technology – a system that separates multiple waste streams using colour-coded bags.

The GrowSmarter Project, Stockholm

The project

Most of the GrowSmarter solutions were implemented in an existing development in the Årsta district in Stockholm.

The Envac system 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.

Similarly, only one collection truck is required to collect four waste streams, which saves resources and reduces waste collection-related carbon emissions.

The waste terminal building in Valla Torg is small and the inlets occupy less space than the previous solution, leaving more room for living.

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.

The result

  • 66% reduction of unsorted waste
  • 90% reduction of waste collection traffic by replacing multiple waste collection trucks with only one
  • 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. It also provides the municipalities with actionable insights.
  • Played a critical role in shaping a sustainable city framework that will help to create sustainable cities EU-wide
  • 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
  • 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

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