Compacting waste in the Canary Islands

Written by: RWW | Published:

Tias is home to Puerto Del Carmen, the largest tourist resort on the island of Lanzarote, so the collection of waste is an important task because of the hot climate all year round. Tim Byrne, specialist in waste collection in Mediterranean countries, reports on the recent delivery of a fleet of portable compactors.

In 2013, the municipality of Tias on the Spanish island of Lanzarote ordered a fleet of 28 Kiggen portable compactors from Geesinknorba Spain. This was in conjunction with a 10-year contract awarded to private contractor Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), Spain’s largest environmental services contractor, to provide a range of services to the municipality over the next 10 years including waste collection.

The 28 Kiggen portable compactors, purchased to provide a more efficient waste collection service to the hotels and resort of Puerto Del Carmen, comprise seven Kiggen PD729 14 cubic metre capacity units and 21 PD731 units of 25 cubic metres capacity. 

The compactors replace the 800 and 1000 litre containers currently used by the municipality to collect the hotels’ and resort’s waste so all waste could be placed in one large compactor container at communal collection points, which is far more hygienic, reducing odours produced in the warm temperatures.

Communal collection points

Tias has invested considerably in building communal collection points in Puerto Del Carmen. This involved the construction of a ramp and solid concrete perimeter walls, reinforced internally with heavy-duty steel girders, to maintain the aesthetics of the surroundings. 

Each communal collection point has electrical connections to operate the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors. The concrete floor slab of these collection points have been fitted with two heavy duty steel strips which are the width of the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors. 

When the containers are both off loaded and collected by the hook loader vehicle, they are placed on the strips to avoid damaging the floor of the communal collection point. There are two heavy-duty steel bump stops at the end of the steel strips to prevent the Kiggen compactors being forced too far back in the communal collection point by the hook loader vehicle when both collecting and off loading the compactors from damaging the rear wall.

A heavy-duty water connection has also been fitted at each communal collection point so that any spillage of liquid wastes can be washed down. Drainage systems have also been fitted along the internal rear facing wall of the communal collection point so that all water can drain into the underground sewer system once the washing of the communal collection point has finished.

The municipality has also built gardens with palm trees, constructed stone wall exteriors using volcanic ash infill and incorporated the use of steel bollards at one hotel so that the communal collection points fit in with their surroundings. 

Currently, 18 communal collection points have been built to house the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors in Puerto Del Carmen. 

Bespoke design

The Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors have been designed specially for the municipality of Tias and the resort of Puerto Del Carmen. The compactors are much larger in terms of cubic capacity compared to conventional Kiggen portable compactors used for the storage of waste. 

They are fully watertight to retain any leachates produced when compacting the waste. A specially designed lockable lid has also been incorporated into the design so that the lid is not vertical as on other competitors’ compactors, making it easier to load. A steel step has been provided near to the loading aperture of the compactor so that people can load bulky waste easily inside the Kiggen compactors. 

Added to which, the equipment has a fail safe system to prevent the operation of the compactor by unauthorised people. The compactors have electrics with the latest self diagnostic system able to analyse an electrical fault. They also have the necessary electrical connections to install a communication system as well as a GPS module so that all of the containers can be GPS tracked.

The Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors are collected from the communal collection points every morning in Puerto Del Carmen, seven days a week, by four hook loader vehicles. The weight in the Kiggen portable compactors will vary, subject to the time of year and whether it is high tourist season. The Kiggen portable compactors will be taken to the sanitary landfill and dirty materials recycling facility (MRF) at Zonzamas in the municipality of Teguise where their contents will be discharged.

The hook loader equipment to lift and carry the Kiggen portable compactors has been mounted on to a Scania P320 Series 6x2 chassis with tag lift axle to reduce tyre wear when the vehicle is empty. The chassis is of 26 tonnes gross vehicle weight and features the GA766R (Allison 3200R) automatic transmission with retarder to reduce brake wear. Three of the Scania P320 Series 6x2 26 tonne chassis with Cayol hook loader equipment are permanently used to transport the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors to the sanitary landfill site at Zonzamas. 

One of the Scania P320 6x2 26 tonne tag axle chassis with Cayvol hook loader equipment is spare and is only used when there are increased volumes of waste produced at the height of the tourist season or to cover servicing of one of the other three hook loaders.

Waste treatment

Once the Kiggen portable compactors are full, they are transported to the waste treatment plant in the centre of the island. 

The waste treatment plant is managed, owned and operated by the Excmo Cabildo Insular de Lanzarote - the island council. 

Waste collection and transfer vehicles from the seven councils across the island - Arrecife, Tias, Haria, San Bartolome, Teguise, Tinajo and Yaiza - deliver the waste directly to this facility. It is open to accept deliveries of waste 24 hours a day although 80% of waste is delivered to the facility in the day while the remaining 20% is delivered in the night from Arrecife.

Municipal waste is buried in the sanitary landfill which has existed on this site for over four decades.

The Scania three axle Cayvol hook loader vehicles carrying the Kiggen portable compactors enter a weighbridge for their loads to be weighed. They discharge their loads, which are then compacted by a landfill compactor and other plant machinery operational at the tip face of the landfill. 

The hook loader vehicle returns to the weighbridge to collect its weighbridge ticket before leaving site. The landfill flares methane produced from the burial of the waste and leachate is collected and treated. The landfill complies fully to the EU Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC).

The site also has a crematorium for animal carcasses and a bulking station for paper, cardboard, glass and plastic recyclables, for example, PET, HDPE and Tetrapak pre sorted for baling and transport to reprocessors in both the Canary Islands and mainland Spain. 

The new Kiggen PD 729 and PD731 portable compactors supplied by Geesinknorba Spain are expected to provide a sustainable and efficient waste collection and transfer system in the municipality of Tias for many decades to come.

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