Waste collection in the Greek municipality of Piraeus

Written by: Timothy Byrne | Published:
The waste collection fleet

The municipality of Piraeus is in the Attica region of Greece, close to the city of Athens and is a busy city, its main industry being its port.

Each year thousands of holidaymakers visit the port for excursions on Greek cruises. It also receives industrial imports as well as exporting products from across Greece.

Large volumes of waste therefore are produced across Piraeus annually and a sustainable waste collection system is vital. To deliver this, the municipality operates a twenty four hour waste collection service to help keep waste volumes to a minimum.

The municipality operates a very efficient waste collection system, providing a door to door waste collection system for residents in some parts of the city.

This system is used where the streets are narrower and there is little room for the placement of a communal waste collection point housing 1000 litre waste containers. Residents place their waste for collection outside their properties in either a 240 litre wheeled bin, provided by Piraeus municipality, or inside a black waste collection sack.

Communal collections

The main streets of the municipality have communal collection points along them. Green coloured 1000 litre containers for non-recyclable waste along with an 1000 litre blue coloured container for the collection of commingled dry mix recyclables are placed in the communal collection point.

Piraeus operates two sizes of waste collection vehicles. For the narrower streets, a fleet of MAN TGL 10 and 11 tonne 4x2 Kaoussis CRV 1000 satellite waste collection vehicles of 7m3 capacity, fitted with Kaoussis comb and trunnion bin lifting equipment, are used.

For the larger streets, a fleet of gas powered Mercedes Econic 1828 4x2 18 tonne Kaoussis CRV 2000 16m3 press type compaction bodies and a fleet of Volvo FL6 and Volvo FLE 4x2 18 tonne Kaoussis CRV 1600 16m3 rotary drum waste collection vehicles are used.

Both equipment types are fitted with the Kaoussis comb and trunnion bin lifting equipment. The municipality also has a number of Volvo FM9 340 6x4 26 tonne Kaoussis RL300 22m3 rear loading press type compaction bodies fitted with Kaoussis comb and trunnion bin lifting equipment.

These are the largest rigid type waste collection vehicles operated by Piraeus and are used for collecting waste in areas across the city where waste volumes are at their highest.

The municipality also has a number of Mercedes Axor 4x2 18 tonne chassis fitted with Kaoussis Norba RL200 16m3 rear loading press type compaction bodies complete with the Kaoussis comb and trunnnion bin lifting equipment.

These collection vehicles are used to service the blue 1000 litre containers for collecting commingled dry mixed recyclables at communal collection points across the large streets of Piraeus.

Night owls

The waste collection service for the narrower streets commences at midnight. Each waste collection vehicle is manned with a driver and two waste collection operatives. The operatives empty the 240 litre containers from each property returning the container outside the residents property.

Full bags of waste put out by residents are also deposited into the hopper of the waste collection vehicle by the collection operatives. 660 litre and 1000 litre containers placed along the collection route are also emptied by the collection crew.

The collection of waste for the larger streets commences between 2.00-3.00am. Waste collection vehicles used for this are again manned with a driver and two operatives. The vehicles service the 1000 litre green coloured waste containers in communal collection points.

Both the satellite and 4x2 18 tonne waste collection vehicles collect two loads of waste per round each night whilst the 6x4 26 tonne waste collection vehicles collect one or two loads of waste per round each night.

The smaller satellite waste collection vehicles deliver their waste to Piraeus municipality’s own waste transfer station, outside the city but close to the city’s main road network. On arrival, all vehicles are weighed to establish their net payload.

Once weighed, the vehicles proceed to an elevated platform to discharge their load through a hopper into the top of one of two Kaoussis HAS 60 56m3 top loading waste transfer trailers. The waste is compressed to the rear of the waste transfer trailer on receipt of each fresh load of waste delivered by the satellite waste collection vehicle until the trailer is fully loaded.

The municipality also operates two Kaoussis HAS 46 46m3 rear loading waste transfer trailers for use when the two HAS 60 56m3 rear top loading waste transfer trailers are full. All of the trailers are pulled by a pair of MAN TGS 4x2 tractor units.

Once the trailers have been loaded, they are transported at 6am by the drivers of the MAN TGS 4x2 tractor units to the Fyli sanitary landfill site at Ano Liosia for discharge.

The sanitary landfill site is operated by EDSNA, the solid waste management authority responsible for waste management for the entire region of Attica and is the largest sanitary landfill site in Europe.

The development of the municipality’s own waste transfer station has improved the efficiency of its waste collection rounds as well as helped to reduce carbon emissions in the satellite waste collection vehicles by not having to travel long distances to discharge their loads.

The larger 4x2 18 tonne and 6x4 26 tonne waste collection vehicles travel to the Schistou waste transfer station close to Piraeus. This is operated by EDSNA and processes 900 tonnes of municipal waste daily. It is operational 24 hours to accept waste from Piraeus and the surrounding municipalities delivered in conventional waste collection vehicles.

EDSNA transport the waste from Schistou waste transfer station to the Fyli sanitary landfill site inside closed Kaoussis TSC 1000 30 cubic metre roll – on – off containers with their fleet of Scania P400 8x4 Kaoussis Multilift XR26T hook loader vehicles.

The commingled dry mixed recyclables collected from the blue coloured 1000 litre containers across Piraeus are delivered to EDSNA’S EMAK facility at Ano Liosia where the materials are separated using both manual and mechanical techniques. The materials are then baled ready for exporting to processors.

Innovative thinking

Piraeus municipality provides an innovative and sustainable waste collection system. This has been achieved through maximising productivity in the sizes of its waste collection rounds and reviewing the kilometres each collection vehicle travels per day.

The collection vehicles’ fuel consumption, fuel usage and repair and maintenance costs are continually monitored to reduce external operating costs as much as possible.

In conclusion, the municipality of Piraeus provides a sustainable waste collection system for its residents as well as tourists. This is evidenced by the professionalism and dedication of the municipality’s management team in helping to maximise the efficiency of its waste collection service as well as reduce external operating costs.


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