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.

When Stora Ursvik, known as `Sundbyberg´s green corner’, decided to minimise traffic in the area they appointed Envac to build on its reputation as a “sopsugskommun” – a pneumatic waste collection municipality.

Wall detail waste collection station. The typical Swedish birch tree.

The Project

Envac designed 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 2,400 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.

One of the most notable additions to the system is the 250 sq. m green wall, which covering one wall of the Envac collection station. It contains of 10,000 plants with 67 different varieties. The plants are chosen to attract butterflies, bees and other insects.

The living wall has ensured that even one of the only above-ground components in the Envac system blends 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 2035 Envac will handle the waste of at least 8,500 apartments.

Envac collect 3 separated
waste fractions

Organic / Paper / General waste

Designed capacity 9 tons/day

Waste inlets 300

when project completed

Pipe network 3,000 m

Green wall 2,000 plants and herbs

decorates the 250 m2 wall of the waste collection station

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 pneumatic waste collection 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.

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.

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