Vinterviken: Looking after Alfred Nobel’s legacy

How Fortum Recycling and Waste played a key role in removing contaminated soil from and restoring one of Stockholm’s most iconic and historic green spaces.

Park in Vinterviken, Sweden

Extensive work on historic ground

Vinterviken in Stockholm, Sweden’s Aspudden neighbourhood, holds a special place in many residents’ hearts. It is not only one of the city’s most well-known parks, but also an area of great historical significance as it was once home to Alfred Nobel’s famous factory for developing and testing dynamite.

However, a study commissioned by the City of Stockholm revealed that the areas surrounding the former factory and the nearby lakebed were some of the city’s most contaminated. There were such high concentrations of heavy metals and contaminants in the soil that comprehensive decontamination was deemed necessary.

The winning contract went to Fortum Recycling and Waste, one of Fortum Group’s full-service subsidiaries that provide recycling and waste management services for the public and private sectors. The work – consisting of demolition, decontamination and restoration – started in the summer of 2019 and took approximately a year to complete.

Specialists in hazardous waste management

The company’s 50-year history of specialising in hazardous waste management was one of the many reasons that Fortum Recycling and Waste was selected. Decontamination was going to be one of the most challenging parts of the job, requiring excavation of large amounts of contaminated soil and dredging of the lakebed, all while ensuring the safe disposal of the contaminated material.

To minimise unnecessary transport, the contaminated material was sorted and classified on the spot at the Vinterviken project site. The hazardous material was sent to Fortum Recycling and Waste’s in-house waste management plant in Kumla, south of Örebro. This plant is only one of few in Sweden specially classified to safely manage and dispose of hazardous waste.

Out with poisonous heavy metals, in with midsummer flowers

Following excavation and decontamination of the area, Fortum Recycling and Waste worked to restore the entire green space to its former glory. In addition to the significant work of planting flowers, trees and grass, Fortum Recycling and Waste installed outdoor furniture, restored bike paths, and upgraded the area’s lighting.

With the help of a professional gardener, Fortum Recycling and Waste planted:

  • 15,000 m3 of grass turf
  • 500 m3 of grass seeds
  • 1,100 bushes
  • Approximately 1,500 plants and flowers
  • 100 trees

The new and improved Vinterviken got ready for public use by the summer of 2020, allowing Stockholmers to again have picnics in the grass, swim in the lake, and enjoy the park’s natural beauty – free from contaminants and pollutants.

The Vinterviken project is just one of many examples of Fortum Recycling and Waste’s expertise in Environmental Construction, a variety of services related to industrial waste management, soil decontamination and/or construction of facilities and infrastructure necessary to fulfil specific environmental requirements.

Because many projects have complex backgrounds and conditions to take into consideration, Fortum Recycling and Waste takes advantage of its 50-year history of handling hazardous waste, the large-scale support that comes from being a part of Fortum Group, strong subcontractor partnerships, and in-house equipment and technology to find mutual synergies with clients that best utilise our expertise and experience.

As a result, Fortum Recycling and Waste’s smart solutions help clients not only to be more resource-effective but also reach their sustainability and environmental goals. All of our services are grounded in Fortum’s vision for building a cleaner world.

Find out more about the Vinterviken project and Environmental Construction by visiting our website (in Swedish) here.