Beyond the glitz and the glamour in Monaco

Written by: Recycling Waste World | Published:

Monaco is the second smallest and most densely populated country in the world. Its warm Mediterranean climate attracts tourists and the annual Formula One Grand Prix also adds to visitor numbers with consequent increases in waste production. Tim Byrne, specialist in waste collection in Mediterranean countries, reports on how waste is collected in the principality.

The responsibility for waste management in Monaco lies with the Société Monégasque d’Assainissement (SMA), a private company with a history dating back to 1938 when it provided the first waste management systems in the principality.


Today SMA provides the collection of municipal, commercial and industrial wastes as well as dry recyclables, for example, source separated paper, cardboard; plastics such as Tetra Pak, HDPE, PET and packaging wastes; the collection of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE); and hazardous wastes such as waste oil, batteries and solvents.


In the heart of the Fontvieille district, the SMA operates an incineration plant with the capability of processing 80,000 tonnes of waste per annum with energy recovery. Initially, the plant was built with three identical furnace grates, but the plant only treats a maximum of around 50,000 tonnes of waste per annum to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions thus complying with the Kyoto protocol. This is achieved by using two of the three furnace grates continuously and by having the third as a standby furnace grate for when one of the other two are shut for annual maintenance.


Waste collection and recycling


SMA’s waste collection services have various types of collection systems. For the hotels, casinos, restaurants etc, collection containers of 660 and 1100-litre capacities are provided, for large volumes of food waste and packaging wastes produced from these establishments due to the volume and density of the wastes. 


Communal collection points are also provided, housing containers from 240, 660 and 1100-litre capacities near to villas for the storage of wastes. 


In some parts of the principality, a door-to-door waste collection system is provided where residents place their waste on the pavement in plastic bags, for collection.


The collection of municipal and commercial wastes is carried out using a fleet of Provence Bennes rear loading satellite waste collection vehicles mounted on to Toyota Dyna two axle 7.5 tonne chassis and larger Geesinknorba GPM Mini, Grange Variopress and Farid T1SM rear loading waste collection vehicles which are mounted on to Renault Midlum two axle 12 and 15 tonne chassis and Renault Premium and Iveco Eurocargo two axle 18 tonne chassis. The smaller Provence Bennes waste collection vehicles and the Geesinknorba GPM Mini waste collection vehicles are used for areas of tight access such as side streets and beaches as well as for villas where large volumes of waste are not produced. The larger Faun Grange and Farid T1SM two axle waste collection vehicles are employed to collect the larger volumes of municipal and commercial wastes produced from hotels, casinos, restaurants etc. 


Any excess waste produced and placed next to full waste containers is also collected to maintain hygiene and prevent odours produced from decomposing waste in the warm climate.


The SMA also provide a roll on/off container service offering portable compactor containers for the collection of larger volumes of municipal, commercial and industrial wastes produced by hotels or commerce. 


The containers can be housed in the basement of the building to be emptied daily or weekly dependent on the fluctuations of waste produced. They come with their own power pack so the producer can operate the compaction mechanism consisting of a block compactor inside the portable compactor container. They are totally sealed and retain all leachates produced in the compaction process which is 6:1. These containers are collected and emptied by SMA’S Iveco Eurocargo two axle 18 tonne roll on/off  hook lift container truck which disch


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