Underground waste transport

Almere is one of the fastest growing cities in the Netherlands. The city is built on reclaimed land and is built on ground 6 m below sea level. It is the first town in the Netherlands that chose an underground waste transport system. The system consists of a 10,5 km underground system of pipes. Over 350 inlets lead into these pipes, which are placed in public spaces and buildings.

For public spaces a special litter bin system has been designed for the Almere city heart. All waste generated from e.g. apartments, shops, offices, theatres, hospital, the town hall etc. are or will be transported by the system. The systems expands with the growth of the city centre. All fractions of waste (incinerable, green, paper and cardboard) remain separated. The deposited waste is emptied fully automated 24 hours 7 days a week. The capacity of the system is 20 tons of refuse a day. Waste volume 56.000 m3 a year.All waste arrives at the terminal, situated outside the busy city centre. From there container vans drive the waste to the incineration plants.
(City centre)
Additional pictures

- Underground Transport
- Pipeline transport systems
18 million Euro

Project construction


- Architectural quality of urban environment has to be improved
- Service quality of the urban environment has to be improved
- Safety and security in urban environment has to be improved
- Time savings in transport are necessary
- Noise levels are not acceptable
- Pollution (esp. air pollution) is not acceptable
- Valuable surface space must be kept available or become available again
Inlets are situated within walking distance, either inside buildings or outdoors. Also litterbins are placed in public area’s. Directly under this inlets, an underground transport systems sends the collected waste to the collection terminal, situated outside the busy city centre. With 70 km/hour garbage shoots underground, unseen, no smell, fully automated 24/7. The systems uses vacuum to get the bags moving.

Occupants profite directly from a high quality area: Safety as there are no trucks running, clean streets, No CO2 output in the area. Instead of garbage on the streets, but safe, durable collection installed. Building owners save on precious square meters as no garbage collection room is needed anymore. Municipalities invest on long term solutions.

- Unique innovation aspects
- Availability /Feasibility of certain key construction technologies
- Architectural factors
- Quality of life
- Environmental impacts
- Financial restrictions
Underground vacuum transport made it possible to create a clean, beautiful and safe residential area without unwanted smell, noise pollution and lowered traffic intensity.
Almere is located in a deep polder reclaimed from a former tidal inlet. The surface level lies approx. 6 m below mean sea level. The top layers where the vacuum system is installed consist of soft marine clays, with buildings founded on deeper sand layers.