ENVAC debuts automated smart waste collection system in Stockholm

Katarina Luhr, Vice Mayor of Environment at City of Stockholm, inaugurating the first Envac waste inlet at Valla torg .

Envac’s first ever WasteSmart system, which combines Envac’s automated waste collection system (AWCS) with optical sorting technology from its subsidiary, Optibag, has been unveiled as part of GrowSmarter, an EU-funded initiative that has brought together cities and industry to showcase 12 ‘smart city’ solutions in energy, infrastructure and transport. 

The initiative, which aims to create a ready market for smart solutions and support the transition to a smart, sustainable Europe, saw Envac selected as one of the 12 solutions to be exhibited in one of the three participating European cities that include Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona. 

In keeping with Envac’s commitment to developing pioneering AWCS solutions, the Swedish-based firm saw GrowSmarter as a platform on which to trial WasteSmart, its latest concept in automated waste collection technology, in Stockholm’s Valla torg area.

Envac’s standard system typically sees one waste fraction designated one waste inlet, which is then collected in one large container at the collection station. The result is multiple waste inlets in groups at various collection points throughout the site or development.  

By using optical sorting technology only one inlet for all fractions needs to be installed as waste is deposited in colour-coded bags, with each colour representing a different waste fraction, and optically sorted at the end point. Not only does this reduce the installation and operational cost of AWCS but it also saves approximately at least 2m² of ground space per inlet, which frees up space for other uses or enhances the streetscene by minimising the on-street presence of waste inlets.  

By incorporating WasteSmart in the GrowSmarter project, Envac has reduced the number of inlets by 70% and taken the size of the collection station from what would have been 200m² using the standard system to only 50m².

Each collection point also includes RFID technology, which supports measurement and analysis by fraction and by individual user. 

On launching WasteSmart as part of GrowSmarter, Patrick Haraldsson, managing director of Envac Scandinavia AB, said: “We expect on-street space gains combined with the lower costs for the WasteSmart solution to significantly simplify the installation of Envac’s automated waste collection systems. There are over 200 million people living in areas similar to Valla Square in Europe; areas built in the 1960s that need to be renovated and where it is difficult to effectively collect and recycle waste. This solution also works for inner cities, where space for inlets is limited and where it would be preferential to install one inlet as opposed to multiple inlets.”

Click here to watch a video showing how the new system works.

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