City planners in Hamburg are trying new ways of combining energy generation and environmental protection. They are building Europe’s largest new residential area that is not hooked up to a central sewage system.
The area is designed to be energetically independent - with much of its energy reclaimed from sewage. The apartments will be equipped with vacuum toilets and the waste will be treated separately in sewage plants and biogas facilities to produce energy. The remaining, less-contaminated wastewater will be treated in a small purification plant and discharged into a stream. The planners’ goal is to extend the vacuum network to the rest of the city. That would enable treatment plants to make money producing fertilizer and energy from waste.