Stockholm Royal Seaport

Sustainability Report

Waste management systems and reuse of materials

A circular and efficient resource management system is being developed in Stockholm Royal Seaport. The goal is to reduce resource consumption, increase resource reuse, with as little as possible going to landfill, contributing to decreased climate impact and circular economy.

2022 Highlight:

Source-separating wastewater systems deliver significant environmental benefits

The MACRO (Food in Circular Robust Systems) research and innovation project concluded with a conference where results from a multi-year project on source-separated wastewater systems were presented. The results indicate increased potential for the recovery of heat, water, and plant nutrients and the possibility of biogas production. Legal, socio-economic, technical, and organisational aspects have also been investigated.

Key figures:

  • In 2022, the amount of residual waste was 91 kg per resident, down from 104 kg in the previous year.
  • 100% of all dwellings, 74% of businesses with kitchenettes and 90% of businesses with kitchens have food waste grinders installed. The waste system also consists of a vacuum waste collection system, a recycling room, an automated collection point for hazardous waste, and the mobile Pop-up Reuse Centre.
  • A total of 8,600 people visited the Pop-up Reuse Centre and 11 tonnes of materials were reused.

Integrated Waste Management Solution

The basis for waste management is the waste hierarchy, which primarily involves preventing the generation of waste, followed by reuse, and then material and energy recovery, and lastly disposing of waste. Swedish municipalities are good at collecting, sorting, and recycling waste, with only small amounts going to landfill. However, the trend in Stockholm shows that the volume of waste is increasing, and the collection of food waste is too low. Reducing both the amount of waste and viewing waste as a resource is a priority to conserve virgin materials and resources. Stockholm Royal Seaport has adopted a holistic waste management approach to simplify the waste sorting process.

Making it easy to do the right thing

One of the challenges identified early on in the project was the collection of food waste. Experience from the development of Hammarby Sjöstad, (the first sustainable urban district in Stockholm), showed that vacuum systems were not the most efficient way to collect food waste, it was therefore decided that food waste grinders in kitchens would be tested at scale. To date, 3,000 food waste grinders have been installed connected to the wastewater system, which means that the organic waste is taken to the Henriksdal wastewater treatment plant and contributes to increased biogas generation. Separate collection of food waste is planned for future stages.

Food Waste Grinder – New Regulations

From January 1, 2024, food waste grinders that go directly to the wastewater system will no longer be an approved method of sorting food waste. This is in accordance with an EU directive and a decision by the government. The properties in Stockholm Royal Seaport can continue to use the food waste grinders until the post-sorting facility, Resource Extraction Stockholm, is completed after the summer of 2024. Thereafter, food waste must be sorted into a green plastic bag and disposed of with the residual waste. At that point, it will no longer be permissible to use food waste grinders.

For more information contact Stockholm Vatten och Avfall (Swedish only)

Children throwing waste into vacuum waste collection system chutes
Enabling sustainable choices
Three vacuum waste collection system chutes on a wall.
Vacuum waste collection system chutes
Four vacuum waste collection system chutes in a courtyard.
Vacuum waste collection system chutes
A recycling room with vacuum waste collection system chutes in a courtyard.
Recycling room and vacuum waste collection system
Automated collection station for hazardous waste on the street.
Automated collection station for hazardous waste

The vacuum waste collection system takes care of three fractions: newspapers, plastic packaging, and . All properties are connected to the vacuum waste collection systems by waste chutes in or in proximity to the entrances. Waste is transported via pipes in the ground to large collection containers in a cavern collection point. The purity of plastic packaging was 99 per cent in a random check in 2021.

There are no recycling stations in street environments. Instead, there are recycling rooms close to the entrances of properties for fractions that it is not possible to dispose of in the vacuum waste management system or food waste grinders.

Hazardous waste can be dropped off at Stockholm Royal Seaport's automated collection station, which is open 24 hours a day, using text message or a QR code. When it opened in 2012, the station was the first of its kind in the world. There are now five in Stockholm.

Pop-up Reuse Centre reduces bulky waste

The Pop-up Reuse Centre is a mobile reuse station developed in Stockholm Royal Seaport in 2015 through an innovation procurement. Books, household items, and other items that others can benefit from or enjoy are collected and given a new owner directly or go to a reuse entrepreneur. The Pop-up Reuse Centre has since been further developed by Stockholm Vatten och Avfall, and has become part of their regular operations, which has contributed to 124 tonnes of Stockholm's used belongings going to reuse. The innovation procurement also inspired permanent reuse centres in the Skärholmen and Järva districts of Stockholm, were visitors can donate items for reuse and recycling, use wood, textile, and bike workshops, and find bargains in the bargain corner.

Children visiting the Pop-Up Reuse Centre. Two containers in the background with furniture and toys.
Children visiting the Pop-Up Reuse Centre
Furniture such as tables, chairs, lamps, mirrors and small tables in one of the mobile Pop-Up reuse containers.
Furniture in one of the Pop-Up Reuse containers
A child talking to an adult about donating toys.
A child donating a toy to the Pop-Up Reuse Centre
Containers with furniture, clothes and toys at the Pop-Up Reuse Centre
Containers with furniture, clothes and toys at the Pop-Up Reuse Centre
Containers with metal, electronic, glass and clothes at the pop-up reuse centre
Pop-Up Reuse Centre

Prevent the creation of construction waste

One third of all waste generated in Sweden is construction and demolition waste. To highlight the importance of preventing and reducing the amount of construction waste, developers must reduce construction waste. To facilitate sorting, handling and follow-up of construction waste, all developers are affiliated with the , which supports the efficient management of construction waste.

So far, no developer has met the construction waste requirement, with an average of 47 kg/m2. This is partly because developers did not work proactively enough to prevent and reduce waste, and partly due to shortcomings in quality assurance during the construction phase.

For public open spaces, construction waste is sorted at source and the proportion of construction waste that goes to landfills is minimised. The largest proportion goes to energy and material recycling. As some construction waste consists of usable and surplus material, the possibility of accepting these materials at the Construction Consolidation Centre is being investigated.

Water and wastewater flows

Heat, biogas and phosphorus-rich wastewater sludge are already extracted at Henriksdal wastewater treatment plant. By separating wastewater flows and collecting in separate systems already inside the properties, resources such as water, energy and plant nutrients can be managed more efficiently. More waste heat, water and nutrients can then be recycled, and more biogas can be produced.

Source-separating wastewater systems have been investigated since 2011. The MACRO innovation project was launched in 2015 and since then, in various project phases in close collaboration with Stockholm Vatten och Avfall, investigated the conditions for source-separating wastewater systems for Värtahamnen and Loudden.

are installed in all kitchens and the waste is sent via the wastewater system to the Henriksdal wastewater treatment plant, where it contributes to increased biogas production. Eventually, ground food waste will be collected into a separate system. A pilot project involving 400 apartments in Kolkajen will also be conducted. Food waste will be taken to tanks in the vacuum waste system terminal. From there, it will be transported by truck to Högdalen for biogas production.

A transport entrance into the vacuum waste collection system terminal
Vacuum waste collection system terminal in Hjorthagsberget
Two containers inside of the vacuum waste collection terminal
Inside the vacuum waste collection terminal
Two containers inside of the vacuum waste collection terminal
Inside of the vacuum waste collection terminal
Pipes and containers inside of the vacuum waste collection terminal
Inside of the vacuum waste collection terminal
Illustration showing circular system
Illustration showing circular system indoor

Key events in 2022

  • Pop-up Reuse was in Stockholm Royal Seaport for two weekends and was visited by 8,630 people. 17,430 objects found new owners, 10.7 tonnes of material were reused, and 2.9 tonnes of bulky waste were collected, of which 2.2 tonnes were electronics and 0.7 tonnes were hazardous waste.
  • In 2022, residual waste in the area decreased by 12% to 91 kg per person and year compared to 2021, when it was 104kg per person and year. The newspaper fraction decreased by 9% and plastic by 15% compared to 2021.
  • A planning manual and guidelines and Source-separating wastewater systems have been developed as part of the MACRO project.
  • A study visit to Hamburg, Germany was held with participants from the City Development Administration and Stockholm Vatten och Avfall to learn more about source-separating wastewater systems.

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.

900,000 tonnes of excavated materials have been reused in Stockholm Royal Seaport, which means that approximately 60,000 round-trip journeys have been avoided.

in Stockholm Royal Seaport is 91 kg per person/year (2022). Residual waste was 104 kg per person/year (2021).

Pop-up Reuse has so far been visited by 20,700 people. 12,300 items were given new owners, thus 6.2 tonnes have been recycled.

The amount of construction waste in new construction varies greatly between the developers; from 25 to 158 kg/m² GFA.

3.2 Resource-efficient water and effluents

100% of households, 67% of businesses with pentry and 84% of businesses with kitchen have installed.

Within the R&D project MACRO (sorting sewage system), planning guidelines etc have been developed.

Updated: 23/02/2024