Stockholm Royal Seaport

Sustainability Report

Waste management systems and reuse of materials

Swedish municipalities have well-established waste collection systems for solid waste, with only a small proportion of waste ending up in landfill. In Stockholm, however, the amount of solid waste is increasing, and the collection of food waste is low. Moreover, there is potential to reuse a significantly larger proportion of what is currently disposed of as bulky waste. Management of household waste in Stockholm Royal Seaport is designed as a comprehensive solution to facilitate sorting.

2023 Highlight:

Key figures:

  • In 2023, the amount of was 88 kg per resident, compared to 91 kg per resident the previous year.
  • In 2023, 3 tons of items were collected for reuse, compared to 2.4 tonnes the previous year.
  • The amount of construction waste averages 47 kg per m².

Household waste

The waste system in Stockholm Royal Seaport consists of a vacuum waste collection system, environmental rooms, an automatic environmental station for hazardous waste, and collection of bulky waste for reuse with the mobile Pop-up Reuse station. The vacuum waste collection system, to which all properties are connected, handles , newspapers, and plastic packaging. The vacuum waste collection system is an automated system that transports fractions from the chutes to a subterranean terminal in Hjorthagsberget. This reduces heavy transport in the area and improves the working environment for waste collectors. Due to new EU directives, it is no longer permissible to collect food waste via kitchen grinders that lead to the sewage system. Stockholm Vatten och Avfall will instead collect food waste in coloured bags that will be placed with residual waste and sorted in an optical sorting facility.

The amount of waste generated in Stockholm Royal Seaport has decreased over time, with the exception of 2021 when the pandemic resulted in residents spending more time at home. In 2023, the amount of residual waste decreased by 4 per cent compared to 2022, from 91 kg per resident to 88 kg per resident. Residual waste has reduced 44 per cent since 2014. The amount of plastic packaging is low. Since 2014, the amount of collected newspapers has decreased by 8 per cent and plastic packaging by 43 per cent.

According to the 2023 residents’ survey, almost 100 per cent of residents sort newspapers, cardboard, and packaging made of glass, metal, and plastic. Eighty-five per cent dispose of hazardous waste for treatment, but only half are aware that there is an automated environmental station in the area.

A comprehensive solution for waste management has proven to be important for making it easy to do the right thing, leading to a better sorting rate than for Stockholm as a whole. To maintain good source separation, continuous communication efforts are required.

Pop-up Reuse

Pop-up Reuse was developed in Stockholm Royal Seaport through an innovation procurement. The purpose of a temporary and mobile reuse centre is to increase reuse, reduce the amount of bulky waste and to make life easier for those who do not have a car. In 2023, Pop-up Reuse was made available twice in the area and was visited by 7,400 people. This resulted in 20,700 items changing owners and more than three tons of items going to reuse. Since the programme started in 2017, about 39,000 people have visited the Pop-up Reuse in Stockholm Royal Seaport, 52,200 items have been handed in, and 14.7 tons of material have gone to reuse.

The concept has since been further developed by Stockholm Vatten och Avfall, and become part of their regular operations, with 170 tons of material going to reuse to date. The innovation procurement also resulted in a concept for a permanent reuse center that has inspired the establishment of two centres in Stockholm - Skärholmen and Rinkeby. These places are equipped with workshops and tools for repairing and building things, sewing machines for mending and making clothing, and a bicycle repair shop.

Children visiting the Pop-Up Reuse Centre. Two containers in the background with furniture and toys.
In 2015, a pop-up reuse center was tested. Visitors could drop off clothes, gadgets, and furniture and talk to sustainability experts.

Reducing construction waste

One-third of all waste in Sweden is construction and demolition waste. A system-level change is required for these material flows to become more circular. The overarching principle in Stockholm Royal Seaport is to prevent and reduce the amount of construction waste. Developers are required to limit construction waste to 20 kg per m². However, the average is currently 47 kg/m². This is partly because developers have not worked proactively enough to prevent construction waste during planning, and partly due to deficiencies in quality assurance during construction.

In construction contracts for public spaces, construction waste is source-sorted with the largest proportion going to energy and material recovery. Material that goes to landfill is usually contaminated, typically due to previous industrial activities on the site.

All developers and contractors hired by the City of Stockholm are required to use the ’s waste management system. The system facilitates the correct sorting and handling of waste. The centre also offers storage and other services that help reduce damage to building materials.

In 2023, the Construction Consolidation Centre also started a service to facilitate the reuse of materials. The idea is that building materials left unclaimed at the Construction Consolidation Centre that would otherwise become waste can be reused.

Related links:

Achievements for 3. Waste management systems and reuse of materials

3.1 Reduce amounts of waste

  • To date 29% of the area has been remediated.
  • 1,050,000 tons of excavated materials have been reused in Stockholm Royal Seaport, which means that approximately 70,200 round-trip journeys have been avoided.
  • The amount of construction waste in new construction varies greatly between the developers; from 25 to 158 kg/m² GFA. The average is 47 kg/m².
  • in Stockholm Royal Seaport is 88 kg per person/year 2023.
  • Pop-up Reuse has so far been visited by 39,000 people, since its launch in 2017. In 2023, it was visited by approximately 7,400 people, 20,700 items were given new owners, thus 3.1 tonnes have been recycled.

3.2 Resource-efficient water and effluents

  • Planning guidelines for sorting sewage systems have been developed within the R&D project MACRO

Updated: 10/06/2024