Barking Riverside development – the future of green city planning


A leading construction company helped install a revolutionary waste transfer system at a development in Barking – which shoots waste through vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 40mph.

Chelmsford-based Anderson worked on the Barking Riverside development, being delivered by L&Q, which will see more than 10,000 new homes constructed on a former industrial site on the banks of the River Thames.

The development includes the extraordinary Envac vacuum waste collection system, which drastically reduces the need for roadside rubbish collection and the associated pollution and health risks.

Rubbish and recycling can be dropped into bins at ground level by residents and then transported through vacuum pipes to a purpose-built refuse site.

The technology, which has already been used in developments in Sweden and Norway and at Wembley in London, could play a huge part in the future of large-scale developments.

Steve Clark, production manager at Anderson, said he was blown away by the technology when he first saw it.

“When I first went to see the Envac system at Wembley I was in awe of it,” he said. “In five or ten-years’ time you will see this in lots of developments – it will be the same for sporting arenas.

“We assisted Envac in installing the main pipework in some of the main areas leading to the Envac centre as well as the refuse centre itself.

“It looked like a complicated task at first but once you understand the technology it is relatively simple to install.

“It really works in a similar way to drainage.

“If you are building it in lots of open space it’s an easy system to integrate.”

Anderson started work on the site in August 2017 and the Envac centre became operational in January 2020.

Completing groundworks and laying the vacuum pipes, Anderson also built the high-spec refuse centre, which people will be able to tour when it fully opens to see how the amazing technology works for themselves.

Mr Clark said: “I think it’s a great system, especially from an environmental point of view – it reduces the number of waste lorries on the roads by up to 90% and residents don’t have to put their bins out every week.

“Before we got to work, it seemed it would be a big challenge as due to the technology involved.

“But working hand-in-hand with the teams from Envac and L&Q, the installation went very smoothly.”

Dave Buckley, managing director at Envac UK, said: “At Barking Riverside, the system will replace nearly 20,000 plastic, two-wheeled bins.

“Every resident will have easy access to a safe, clean and environmentally friendly waste system.

“Bin lorries will not be seen on the roads of the development and emissions will be reduced by over 95%

“Anderson were very professional and easy to deal with. They were receptive to a system that is new to them and their can-do attitude meant that everything went smoothly.”

George Lloyd, senior site manager at L&Q, said the development is an exciting project to work on.

He said: “The Barking Riverside development will provide 10,800 homes in the area over a 15-year build period.

“It is a hugely exciting project, and we are proud to be transforming this former industrial site into a flourishing new district.

“We have had a great relationship with Anderson and Envac throughout what has been a very complex and complicated build.

“Anderson have been a great team to work with, very professional and know what they are doing.”

Share this: