A research project was carried out in Stockholmhem's Hornslandet district in phase Norra 2, in collaboration with 60 households. The purpose was to contribute to a simpler and more enjoyable daily life in conjunction with recycling, reuse, and a sharing economy through a neighbourhood app.
The results were positive, and the new solutions contributed to more satisfied residents, better recycling, and an increased commitment to sustainability in the district. Together with vacuum waste chute provider Envac, the next step has been taken in the development of an IoT-based digital infrastructure that is being scaled up for more properties in Stockholm Royal Seaport.
Purpose and Goal
The purpose was to investigate whether a local sustainability app could contribute to increased engagement and well-being in relation to waste and energy.
Results and Experiences
To better engage residents in waste issues, new technology that enables feedback and visualisations of sorting and waste quantities at the household level were tested along with residents. This was an innovation that was made possible through smart metres in the vacuum waste collection system. Feedback was combined with various behavioural interventions and campaigns with guides and tips, to contribute to collective engagement and behavioural changes among residents.
The development includes, among other things, the updated and improved app "Envac ReFlow", which, using data and information from the vacuum waste collection chutes, can visualise recycling and waste flows in a way that hopefully increases engagement and understanding of how everyone can contribute to improving the environment.
On the energy side, the project tested new types of feedback and visualisations for electricity usage at the household level with test households on the KTH Royal Institute of Technology campus in Stockholm. A key focus was to test whether a new "pause hour" concept can better engage residents to reduce electricity usage during hours when the electricity grid is highly loaded.
- At the end of the project, participants were 15% more satisfied with the waste system.
- Sorting in the waste chute system increased by 48%.
- Residual waste from project participants decreased on average by 7% on average.
- Operational interruptions in the vacuum waste collection system decreased by 55% compared to previous years.
- Improved social sustainability in the form of increased well-being, cohesion, neighbourhood identity, and trust among participants in the project.
- Peak loads for electricity usage decreased by 63% on average for those who participated in the so-called pause hours (an hour when the power grid is highly loaded).
- Reduced electricity usage among the participants by an average of 7%.
The project has been continued in Reduce Reuse Recycle Stockholm Royal Seaport which aims to show how a new type of IoT-based infrastructure for the waste industry - recycling, reuse, and sharing economy - can be scaled up at district level.
R&D-project: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
(Stockholm Vatten och Avfall)
Article: RE3, Collective engagement for a circular economy (Swedish only)
External website: Envac Reflow (Swedish only)