The brief

Cité Verte is a remarkable eco-responsible complex, ahead of its time. In June 2011, Envac contracted to install their innovative pneumatic waste collection system, further contributing to the sustainable development principles on which the complex was built. This district is a perfect location for businesses due to the incorporation of numerous smart green technologies.

According to the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec, Cité Verte is among the 50 projects that have significantly influenced urban planning in the last 50 years. It serves as a remarkable example of a green initiative that paves the way for similar projects in larger cities. Cité Verte has received numerous accolades for its environmentally-conscious urban planning. The responsible approach taken towards the development of this site has resulted in several awards and recognition for its sustainability efforts.

Photo Credit: Pierre Soulard

The Project

Cité Verte’s development integrates a range of sustainable solutions such as rainwater recycling, power efficiency, waste source and recovery, urban transport improvements, local materials sourcing, and green space preservation. As an alternative to traditional waste management, Envac plays a crucial role in achieving the sustainability goal.

The Envac automated waste collection system manages three fractions of waste, including organic food, landfill waste, and mixed recyclables. The project features 48 residential and nine commercial inlet doors, resulting in significant savings in public space. The underground transport network, spanning 1.2 km, connects to a semi-buried collection terminal.

The Result

The underground pipe system is directly connected to three waste drop-off points for organic waste, recyclables, and other waste. A strong vacuum pressure pulls the waste into a local substation where organic waste is transformed into bio-gas, recyclables are processed, and other waste is incinerated to produce electricity or heat. The waste can travel up to 8-9 kilometers at speeds of up to 50 km/hour, and it takes only 10 seconds to empty a waste point. The entire system is automated, and the unmanned substations are cleaned at regular intervals.

Each set of waste drop-off points serves 30-50 families, and the drop-off points are designed to be visible from most of the apartments in the development, discouraging misuse. Initially, there were some issues with the purity of the bio-gas due to residents depositing incorrect types of waste, but an education program has improved the gas purity to 95 percent.

Envac performed the complete installation from initial design to operation and maintenance, and the system has been in operation since 2013. Although the upfront costs were high due to construction labor and materials, the running costs are significantly lower compared to a conventional waste collection system.

1,460 tons waste/year

3 fractions

3,937 liner feet of pipe

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