Valoriza Servicios Medioambientales, one of Spain’s largest environmental services contractors and part of Grupo Sacyr, took over the waste collection service in Albacete in July 2016. At the time, the city council awarded the contract to Valoriza for fifteen years, with an option to extend it for a further five years. The waste collection servic now serves a population of 175, 000 people.

Valoriza purchased a fleet of waste collection vehicles from Geesinknorba Spain to provide the waste collection service. These comprise AMS CL1-E (electric) side loading waste collection vehicles and Geesinknorba’s proven ‘G’ and ‘MF’ Series rear loading vehicles.

Nine AMS CL1-E side loaders have been purchased; six units are the AMS CL1-E 22 model of 22m3 capacity while three units are the AMS CL1-E 25 model of 25m3 capacity. All nine units have hydraulically closing roof doors to prevent waste debris from escaping while travelling on the collection route and to the waste treatment plant.

The AMS electric units from Geesinknorba Spain were purchased to reduce noise levels and emissions while in operation. The chassis of the side loader recharges the AMS unit’s battery while the vehicle is in operation. Valoriza’s depot/workshop in Albacete charges the side loader vehicles’ batteries once a week, as per Geesinknorba and AMS recommendation.

As part of the new contract, Valoriza has increased the number of side loading containers and vehicles compared to the previous waste collection service operated in the city. Both Valoriza and Albacete City Council will benefit from this because of the financial savings that will be made in the longer term, one of which will be reduced labour costs since only a driver is required to operate the side loader.

Valoriza also purchased three rear loading type waste collection vehicles. One of these is the Geesinknorba ‘G’ Series GPM-IV 18L25 unit of 18m3 capacity. This is a conventional rear loading waste collection vehicle and is fitted with Geesinknorba’s GCB 1000 S3 bin lifting equipment. The bin lift can empty containers of 120-1100 litres capacity. The unit also features Geesinknorba’s ‘Smartpack’ system which uses the minimum amount of power from the vehicles’ pump to operate the compaction and bin lifting equipment, thus helping to reduce fuel consumption.

The two other vehicles purchased are the Geesinknorba ‘MF’ Series MF18H25 units of 17.6m3 capacity. These vehicles have split fractions of 11.7 and 5.9m3 capacities. The units are fitted with Geesinknorba’s L200-MF bin lifting equipment which can handle containers from 120-1100 litres capacity. The units are also fitted with Geesinknorba’s ‘Smartpack’ system.

Both the side and rear loaders are mounted on to Iveco Stralis AD260S33Y/PS AUT.RSU compressed natural gas (CNG) powered 330 horsepower (HP) 6×2 rear steer 26 tonne chassis. The chassis are fitted with reinforced front suspension and reinforced rear stabiliser bars for travelling on uneven ground at the waste treatment plant.

To reduce driver fatigue, all chassis have been fitted with the Allison 3500R Series six speed automatic transmission complete with retarder.

Valoriza built a new CNG gas fuelling station at its vehicle depot in Albacete. Each driver has been issued with a card to access this to fuel their vehicle from four fuelling points. 70% of Valoriza’s vehicles working in Albacete are now fuelled with CNG.

The waste collection service is operated by Valoriza at night in Albacete. The service starts at 11pm and finishes at 6am and this is why quiet vehicles are most suitable.

Piaggio Porter 3.5 tonne 4×2 electric powered vehicles with high sided bodies collect the excess waste placed around the side loader containers of 2.200 and 3.200 litres capacities at communal collection points along the street in advance of the AMS side loader coming to empty them. The driver of the Piaggio vehicle deposits residual waste into the side loader’s containers that are half or three quarters full, leaving the area clean from excess waste. Waste placed next to any full 2.200 and 3.200 litres containers is loaded onto the Piaggio Porter vehicle for transhipment into a rear loading waste collection vehicle later in the night.

The side loading containers are later emptied by the new AMS CL1-E vehicles. Each vehicle collects two loads of waste a night, totalling eighteen tonnes. This equates to emptying between 130-140 waste containers per vehicle per night. The side loader units, depending on their capacity e.g.22 or 25m3, can collect ten/twelve tonnes of waste when fully loaded. Drivers either fill the vehicle half or three quarters full before discharging at the waste treatment plant. All of the side loader vehicles’ lifting arms have sensors which collects the net weight of each container emptied. This information is provided to Valoriza’s management through the vehicle’s GIS/GPS system to ascertain whether the correct size of container is being placed at communal collection points across the city for the amount of waste being produced.

80% of the side loading containers used in Albacete are of 3.200 litre capacity while the remaining 20% are of 2.200 litres capacity. In the future, Valoriza will also place 2.200 and 3.200 litre side loading containers across the rural areas of Albacete.

There are eighteen communal underground waste collection points in Albacete city centre. 3000 litre containers have been placed in these for the collection of residual waste. They are lifted to street level by the driver of the side loader operating a handheld electronic device in the cab. This device opens the lid of each container loading aperture and raises the containers to street level for emptying. The procedure is repeated to lower the containers to ground level and to close the lid of the container loading aperture.

The Geesinknorba GPM-IV 18L25 rear loading unit is manned with a driver and two operatives. The vehicle services 800 and 1100 litre containers at supermarkets, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, industrial and rural areas across Albacete. The waste from these is collected at night but waste from rural areas is collected daily from 6am to 12 midday. This vehicle can collect up to two or three loads of waste nightly emptying up to two hundred 800 and 1100 litre containers, depending on the waste volumes produced by supermarkets.

The two Geesinknorba ‘MF’ Series MF18H25 rear loading units collect paper, cardboard and plastic recyclables placed next to underground waste collection points in Albacete city centre. The vehicle is manned with a driver and one operative. The recyclables are placed in the designated recycling fraction of the vehicle.

Once all Geesinknorba AMS, and ‘G’ Series waste collection vehicles are full, they deliver the residual waste to the waste treatment plant of Albacete Province. The plant also treats the waste produced by the South Quenca region. The vehicles deliver their first loads to the plant between 1.30-2am. Once discharged, the vehicles return to Albacete to finish their collection routes before returning to the waste treatment plant to discharge their last load at 4am-4.45am. The ‘MF’ Series unit delivers its paper, cardboard and plastic recyclables to the waste treatment plant for reprocessing before finishing its collection shift.

All of Valoriza’s vehicles are GIS/GPS tracked. Real time data is produced from information input into the vehicle’s computer system by its driver while completing the collection round. An example of this is broken or damaged waste containers. This information is sent to Valoriza’s Albacete office so that management can replace containers where required. By April 2018, the GPS system will also produce electronic daily vehicle check sheets for the driver to input his vehicle checks. The system will also provide all of the collection routes electronically. This will be useful when the vehicle’s driver is on holiday and a spare driver takes over the collection route. The GPS system will tell the driver which streets to turn left and right into along the collection route. The introduction of this system will end paper daily vehicle check sheets and route sheets/lists. The waste collection data gathered through GIS/GPS is also sent to the Mayor’s office at Albacete City Hall so that the office can monitor the performance of the waste collection contract.

In conclusion, the waste collection system of Albacete city has been improved since Valoriza took over the contract in 2016. The fleet of new environmentally friendly Geesinknorba AMS, ‘G’ and ‘MF’ Series waste collection vehicles has helped to improve productivity as well as reduce noise and emissions, thus providing a sustainable waste collection system for the present and the future.

For more information: