The brief

A demonstration of Envac’s innovative waste collection solution showcased the perfect way for Bergen to preserve its historical integrity. Reducing the risk of waste related fires by installing a closed underground waste collection system contributes to Bergen’s goal to become an international sustainability exemplar. This decision was furthermore reinforced by BIR Nett AS’s declaration that Envac’s proposal was ‘outstanding’.

Following a briefing from BIR Nett AS, which covered how waste collection needed to play a role in shaping the urban environment as opposed to simply moving waste from A to B, Envac set out to design a system that could handle 50 tons of waste per week using airflow alone and without requiring on-street presence from waste collection operatives.

Immediate effects of the Envac system

From an interview with the City of Bergen, Kolbjorn Akervold, Special advisor

50 tons/week

designed collection capacity

4 separate waste fractions


1,200 waste inlets

conveniently located across the city for easy disposal
(Dec ’20 – 427)

24,600 linear foot pipe network

for underground transport of waste from buildings to collection terminal

30,000 connected
households plus businesses

when completed
(Dec ’20 – 8,641+312 businesses)

The project

Working closely with BIR Nett AS, Envac was able to install the first phase of the system in 2007 and is currently extending the system in 2022. On the development’s full completion, Envac’s pneumatic waste collection system will automatically collect the waste of up to 30,000 apartments multiple times each day.

The City of Bergen has already won the National Energy Globe Award 2018 for its decision to install Envac, and more recently, the International Project of the Year Award at the World Congress on Municipal Engineering in Kansas, USA.

The three-phase development, of which Envac has been involved in the only two carried out to date, is set to continue over the coming years. Another collection station was built in 2021 and in operation 2022.

The result

By using Envac, the City of Bergen has:

Enabled the city to protect and maintain a key part of its cultural legacy and stop further wear and tear of its historical roads caused by waste collection trucks that are too big to effectively move around Bergen’s old and narrow streets

Eliminated the prospect of waste-related fires and burning bins, both of which would be disastrous for Bergen’s timber buildings, by installing a closed system where fire – and the risk of fire spreading – is no longer possible

Lowered its insurance premiums as a direct result of installing a closed waste collection system that inhibits waste related fires

Future-proofed its infrastructure by installing a system that will remain operational for decades to come and reinforces Norway’s commitment to the environment

Become the first city to make Envac’s cardboard shredding inlets available to the public by locating them in public areas

Our priority is to deliver a Bergen that is not only greener, more pleasant and more hygienic for those who inhabit the area now, but also for our children and our grandchildren. In using Envac we have future-proofed the City of Bergen and made it a more resilient, sustainable and innovative place to live and work. This is the future for cities all over the world and we are proud that Bergen is one of the forerunners.

Nygardstangen – Bergen’s second waste collection station

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