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Challenge / Goal

Helsingborg has been ranked as the number one Swedish municipality in sustainability for four years in a row. In 2030, they are aiming to become a zero waste city. With this goal in mind, they are striving towards finding new solutions. In Oceanhamnen it was intended to: 

  • Allow the implementation of innovative projects
  • Increase water and energy saving
  • Recycle black water in an environmentaly friendly manner
  • Eliminate food waste


1. Broad discussions with builders, citizens, experts within water and waste management.

2. Turn challenges (like a central treatment plant) into solutions (adding a testbed and a show room for the public to the treatment plant).

3. Implementation. Food waste, toilet water, and grey water from bathing and washing is separated into three pipes at the point of use in each household. Over 2,000 new homes and offices in our urban renewal neighbourhood Oceanhamnen are the first in the world to use the new system at full-scale – following its development in Helsingborg – along with sister projects in six cities around Northern Europe.

In Oceanhamnen kitchens, food waste disposed in sinks are collected in one pipe, and black water from toilets is collected in a second pipe. The third pipe collects grey water from washing and bathing water, and it is reused for heating and cooling purposes in each home before following the other two pipes to a recovery centre nearby.

The recovery centre collects nutrients and materials for producing biogas and organic fertiliser that fulfil the end-of-waste criteria. It also captures any remaining heat from the grey water stream for heating more homes, before the minimal remaining wastewater from the three streams goes on to our wastewater treatment plant.

Citizen participation

Citizens have been important in different parts of the project. At this stage of implementation, their feedback is crucial. See a short 2.5 minute film related to citizen participation below.



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Time period

Planning time: More than 5 years

Implementation time: 1 to 2 years


Private builders, NSR (Municipal Waste and Recycle company)

Service providers

NSVA - The municipal waste water company

End users

Office workers and citizens in the Oceanhamnen neighbourhood

    Main benefits

  • Promoting sustainable disposal of waste

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