The City of Helsingborg aspires to be a leader in environmental management and sustainability. Here we have all the necessary preconditions to develop the city in a sustainable manner, with a foundation in economic, environmental and social sustainability.

The H+ project wants to be a paragon of sustainable city development. This will be realized through the project’s purposes, which among other things revolve around strengthening the Öresund region by improving the area’s social, cultural and physical environment while also creating attractive living environments and meeting places, and doing this by densifying already existing industrial areas.

In order to fulfil these ambitions an environmental profile for H+ was developed. The ambition is for this environmental profile to be used for a long time. It should capture the challenges of both today and tomorrow, based on our current knowledge. The long-term idea is for the people living and operating in the H+ area to understand and contribute to improving and developing the environmental profile. In other words it should be an obvious part of every subproject and expansion in the area.

The H+ environmental profile will work as a framework and common support for all the parties involved in the city renewal process so that planning, construction and management of the new districts leads to a strong and credible environmental profiling.

Working from the H+ environmental profile, Helsingborg initiated a collaboration with Öresundskraft (the city’s municipal energy company), NSR (Nordvästra Skånes Renhållning) as well as NSVA (Nordvästra Skånes Vatten och Avlopp). The purpose of this collaboration is to analyse existing systems and provide suggestions for future systems and solutions within energy, waste, water and sewage.

The collaboration led to a decision to implement a new and unique waste management system. One that is comfortable, easy, and convenient to use. The overarching goal is to collect and use waste as a raw material to produce biogas and plant nutrients in a safe way. In other words the system will contribute to Helsingborg City’s environmental targets for the H+ area, but also to the climate- and environmental work that is being done at a national level.

To collect food waste we are installing waste disposal units in kitchens and vacuum toilets in bathrooms to collect toilet water. Bath, shower and wash water is sorted in a separate pipe.

The advantages of garbage disposal units

  • Comfortable, easy, and convenient for those living in the area.
  • Cleaner and more sorting rooms for collecting and sorting other kinds of waste.
  • Agriculture gains access to a cleaner fertilizer without trash that doesn’t belong in food waste.
  • Larger amounts of food waste gets collected and turned into biogas. That which is left over becomes fertilizer for arable land.
  • Reduced need for heavy transportation in the area.
  • Reduced losses in the management chain and thereby increased production of biogas and fertilizer.

The advantages of vacuum toilets

  • A more energy-efficient management at the treatment plant thanks to reduced water quantities. With new treatment techniques, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.
  • Increased production of biogas as anaerobic digestion can take place directly without prior handling at the treatment plant.
  • Reduced water consumption for the residents.
  • A cleaner raw material, that is to say sludge, compared to current sewage water and sewage sludge that gets mixed together with all other sewage water from the rest of the community. This creates the necessary preconditions for increased circulation of nutrients back into the agricultural sector, which in turn contributes to Sweden’s national environmental targets.
  • Good experiences of the vacuum system in other households can be found, primarily in Germany and the Netherlands.

The advantages of collecting bath, shower and wash water separately

  • By sorting bath, shower, and wash water in a separate pipe we can utilize the resources in the toilet water more efficiently.
  • The heat in the warmer sewage stream is easier to reuse through heat exchange, which can be done directly in the building or at the treatment plant.

Development of the waste treatment plant

In order to manage these three waste streams the local treatment plant is going to be expanded with the addition of another plant. The new development plant will be flexible and can be developed with new technology that will be adapted for future demands. There will also be a showroom and a testbed connected to the new plant.

RECO LAB – a testbed for research and development

The testbed, which will be built at the same time as the development plant, will be an open and accessible meeting-place for businesses, researchers and public actors. It will enable research and development within the whole chain, from collection and treatment of the waste streams to communication with the users. The goal with the testbed is to develop techniques and services that contribute to Oceanhamnen becoming a sustainable city district.

The end goal is a testbed that is integrated in a full-scale system with leading-edge technology, offering excellent opportunities for visualisation and education along with communication that supports positive behaviour.