No smelly bin areas in the courtyard of Bellakvarter, Copenhagen

A state-of-the-art waste collection system in the new Bellakvarter at Amager ensures that residents can enjoy the blocks’ gardens and courtyards without the nuisance of waste bins and garbage trucks emptying them. The new waste collection system, the first in the world to collect five different waste streams, also makes it easy for residents to separate their waste.

Normally, some of the space in the courtyard would be taken up by a bin store and waste containers, which are both smelly and noisy. Nothing of the sort in the new Bellakvarter, which is a reinterpretation of Copenhagen’s old outer neighbourhoods.

Here, importance has been given to creating courtyards with small gardens, paths and greenery, designed for play and relaxation.

No bin areas and fewer vermin

“We’ve built a state-of-the-art waste system, from which the waste is sucked directly to a central point via a self-contained underground pipe system,” says Ole Steen Pedersen from developer Solstra Development. “Each waste stream is collected in a separate container, which is taken straight to a recycling plant or to incineration when it is full.”

The new waste system means less mess and a much lower risk of vermin in the courtyard, while the janitors or garbage collectors are spared the task of wheeling heavy containers around. The garbage trucks can collect the waste from the terminal building on the edge of the neighbourhood without having to go in. This limits smell and noise, as well as increasing safety, as the heavy garbage trucks no longer have to edge their way between parked cars, cyclists and playing children.

Ready for waste separation

The new waste system has inlets for paper, cardboard, plastic, bio-waste and residual waste.

“The new system has been developed to make it easy for residents to separate waste into the different fractions required by the local authority. And we are sure that the system will mean even more waste separation,” says Ole Steen Pedersen. “We know from other residential areas that more people separate waste when it is easy and part of their daily routine to dispose of the various fractions at the same time as ordinary waste.”

Prepared for more waste

“So far, the new system has been installed in one block,” says CEO Thomas Rovsing from Envac Denmark A/S, which supplied the waste system. The system is designed to handle separated waste from all the 1,800-2,200 homes that will have been built by the time the development is completed in around 2023.


The new vacuum waste system handles five fractions: paper, cardboard, plastic, bio-waste and residual waste. The system continuously measures the amount of waste in the inlets, ensuring they are always available for use by residents. It then automatically sucks the waste from the five inlets to the central point.

  • The system is designed to be able to handle more than 1500 tonnes of waste a year.
  • Solstra Development is the developer behind Bellakvarter.
  • By about 2023, Bellakvarter will have between 1,800 and 2,200 homes in total.
  • The new waste system has been supplied by Envac Danmark A/S.
  • Envac Danmark A/S has built similar waste systems in Aarhus Ø, Aarhus at Nyhavn and NyValby both in Copenhagen, but the vacuum waste system for five fractions is the first of its kind in the world.

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