By Timothy Byrne, Waste Managemen Expert and FACTS Columnist

EMAYA is the public company of the municipality of Palma, the capital city of Mallorca, which is very popular in the summer for tourists from all over the world. The city has a local population of four hundred and fifty thousand people that widens noticeably during the summer months. Waste collection is therefore a very important task which EMAYA takes seriously.

In recent years, EMAYA has invested heavily in expanding its side loading waste collection system in lieu of the traditional rear loading collection system. These investments have provided the city with a more efficient, hygienic and sustainable waste collection system and helped to reduce labour costs. The side loader collection system has also helped in providing route coordinates for the future planning of waste collection rounds. This helps EMAYA in planning the most productive routes possible.

EMAYA collects waste twenty four hours a day, seven days a week across Palma. There are three waste collection shifts: morning, afternoon and night. The night waste collection shift starts at 11pm and lasts for seven hours.  During this time, EMAYA’S trucks concentrate on collecting the residual waste fraction along the main streets of the city. Collection of waste in these areas would otherwise be impractical during the daytime due to traffic congestion, leading to reduced productivity.

EMAYA has also recently invested in a new fleet of CNG powered vehicles. These are Iveco Stralis AD 360 horse power 6×2 rear steer 26 tonne chassis, fitted with either OMB’S heavy duty 21m3 CMPL7 ETSA, or Mazzocchia’s 21m3 LAT B side loading waste collection equipment. The use of CNG powered vehicles is the future of EMAYA with a CNG refuelling station constructed at its Son Pacs vehicle park.

To ease driver fatigue, all of the new vehicles feature the Allison 3000 series automatic transmission. This helps in reducing maintenance costs in the stop and start work of waste collection.

Eleven of EMAYA’S new Iveco/OMB/Mazzocchia side loading vehicles are operated during the night. These vehicles empty containers of 3200 litres capacity, which is the standard size for Palma for the deposit of the residual waste fraction. The containers are placed in communal collection points along the street. Either a single container is provided or, in some cases, several, where large volumes of waste are produced.

A smaller vehicle of 3.5 tons with high sides, complete with rear lift, manned by a driver, collects the loose debris deposited on the ground at communal collection points.EMAYA’s staff makes sure that each communal collection point is left clean and tidy. This helps to keep the local city environment clean.

All of EMAYA’S side loading waste collection trucks collect three loads of waste a night. The first two loads average a 9.5 tonnes payload with the last load averaging a 7.5 tonnes payload. It is evident from these weights that EMAYA have made the right decision in using side loader collection to manage the large volumes of waste produced.

When each collection vehicle is full, it heads to TIRME’S 800,000 tonnes per annum Son Reus waste-to-energy plant near Palma, to discharge its load. The first load is normally delivered to TIRME’S plant at 1am, followed by the second between 3-3.30am and the last load at around 4.30-5am.

It is evident that EMAYA provides an efficient and sustainable side loading waste collection system during the night. This is helped by the limited volumes of traffic on Palma’s roads during these hours-a benefit to the waste collection service because it increases productivity.

Besides the residual waste fraction, EMAYA also collects a wide range of recyclable streams using the side loading collection system. Paper, cardboard, plastics and mixed steel/aluminium cans are collected in 3200 litre containers. Smaller 2200 litre containers for the collection of glass and organic waste are provided which EMAYA collects during the day.

Paper, cardboard, plastics, mixed steel/aluminium cans and mixed glass are delivered to TIRME’S waste recovery park near Palma for baling/bulking for onward transport to reprocessors. The organic waste fraction also goes to TIRME’S Biomethanisation treatment plant near Palma for converting into compost.

In conclusion, EMAYA provides a sustainable, efficient and productive side loader waste collection service for the residual waste fraction collected across Palma during the night. The collection of recyclables and organic waste, using the side loader system during the day, also reaffirms EMAYA’S commitment to side loader collection, being the future vision for Palma for many years to come.

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