Envac to cut bins by 98 per cent in new major London development

London is set to become home to one of the largest automated waste collection systems (AWCS) in Europe after Barking Riverside Limited, a joint venture between London & Quadrant (L&Q) and the Mayor of London, selected Envac to handle the waste of almost 10,000 homes at Barking Riverside London.

The move will see up to 460 Envac waste inlets installed instead of the 19,000 traditional bins that would have been required had AWCS not been selected – a reduction of almost 98 per cent in containers.

Two waste fractions, residual and mixed recycling, will be collected via the waste inlets, which will be conveniently situated near people’s homes. Once the inlets are full, or at pre-programmed emptying times, fans located at the collection station create a negative airflow, ‘sucking’ waste at speeds of over 40mph through a subterranean pipe network measuring 15km in length.

Each automated collection cycle for the entire 178 hectare site will take minutes as opposed to multiple waste collection teams and vehicles taking all day to empty on-street bins – a process that typically has a negative environmental impact.

Envac began installation work on the development in September. The first phase of the system, which will serve around 1,700 homes, will launch in 2019.

Matthew Carpen, Project Director at Barking Riverside London, comments: “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.

By integrating Envac and making waste collection one of the key environmental strands of Barking Riverside London, we’ve not only ensured that waste collection will operate sustainably and effectively, but also taken the carbon emissions and traffic safety aspects attributable to a constant flow of waste collection vehicles out of the equation.”

Barking Riverside London anticipates that the system’s inclusion will reduce waste vehicle-related carbon emissions by at least 90 per cent as multiple waste collection vehicles, each of which typically empties every bin, are no longer needed. Envac estimates that the system will replace hundreds of daily empties required to service 19,000 bins, made possible by having eight industrial vehicles running full time every day.

Dave Buckley, Managing Director of Envac UK, adds: “We are now beginning to see a huge shift in the way major developments tackle waste collection. Whilst Envac can be used as a way in which to free up space generally assigned to bin storage for further commercial development, such as building more apartments, Barking Riverside London has taken the decision to install it simply because they want to make the site as pleasant a place to live as possible. As London’s population continues to rise and the physical and aesthetical limitations of rolling out more bins becomes apparent, Barking Riverside London has not only demonstrated a strong and long-term commitment to the environment, but also the residents and the communities it will ultimately serve.”

The system is one of over 1,000 installations to have been built since the company formed in 1961, has a lifespan of between 60 to 80 years and remains operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

About Barking Riverside

Barking Riverside London is one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK. Delivered by Barking Riverside Limited, a partnership between L&Q and the Mayor of London, it will create a new town the size of Windsor on the banks of the River Thames in east London. Until the 1990s, the area was home to three power stations and a large landfill site.

The development will offer 10,800 new homes, half of which will be affordable. The new riverside neighbourhood has been envisioned in a masterplan by the multi-award winning architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Barking Riverside London will include 65,000 square metres of commercial, retail and community facilities, as well as up to seven schools, public squares and open spaces, and transport infrastructure including a new London Overground Station connecting the development to the City in 22 minutes.

The new Transport for London Overground station is due to open in 2021, with the wider scheme scheduled for completion by 2034.

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