Waste management expert Timothy Byrne explores the state-of-the-art waste transfer station in Efkarpia-Western Thessaloniki

The management of waste across Thessaloniki Prefecture is the responsibility of FODSA, a professional organisation which was originally known as The Association of Local Authorities of Thessaloniki when it became a legal entity of public law in 1971.

On 1 January 2014, the Association was renamed the Regional Association of Solid Waste Management Agencies of Central Macedonia (FODSA). Its responsibilities were expanded to provide waste management for the whole region of Central Macedonia. The expansion happened when the Regional Association of Solid Waste Management Agencies (RASWMA) of Central Macedonia became the first scientific and logistical operator to merge 14 former waste management associations who were responsible for 38 municipalities across Central Macedonia. This merger included seven regions: Thessaloniki, Chalkidiki, Pella, Pieria, Serres, Kilkis, and Imathia. FODSA has its headquarters in Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki Prefecture is home to two million people, one million of whom live in the city of Thessaloniki. The management of waste is therefore high on the agenda to provide Thessaloniki’s citizens and summer tourists with a sustainable waste management system.

Building a new waste transfer station at Efkarpia

Traditionally, waste had been transported from the western region of Thessaloniki directly by the municipality’s waste collection vehicles to the Mavrorahi sanitary landfill site. To help reduce vehicle movements and the carbon footprint, FODSA decided to build a new 1100 tonnes per day waste transfer station at Efkarpia to serve the municipalities across western Thessaloniki. The development of the new waste transfer station has also improved the efficiency of the municipality’s waste collection services across this area.

Waste collection vehicles arrive at the waste transfer station and are weighed to ascertain their gross vehicle weight and net payload. The driver of the vehicle is given a ticket by the weighbridge staff to give to staff inside the tipping hall to acknowledge that the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight and net payload has been weighed. The vehicles proceed up an elevated haul road and reverse into an enclosed waste reception hall through one of four separate entrances. Staff working inside the waste reception hall collect the ticket from the driver and instruct them to reverse their vehicles into one of four unloading bays. The vehicles discharge their load into one of the four static compactors where the waste is compressed by Kaoussis POWERPACK 820 static compactors into Kaoussis TSC 1000 30m3 enclosed hook lift type roll-on-off compaction containers. A dust suppression system spraying water and a scented odour are operated to reduce dust levels during this process. Dust captured inside the waste reception hall and inside the hopper of the static compactors is removed through a dust extraction system. Once waste collection vehicles have emptied their loads, they return to the weighbridge so that the vehicle’s tare weight can be established and the weight ticket produced can be given to the driver before leaving site.

Each Kaoussis TSC 1000 30m3 enclosed hook lift type container holds approximately 15,500kg of compacted waste. When a container is full, staff working at the rear of the waste transfer station exchange the full container for an empty one, using the Kaoussis traverse moving frame. Any leachates produced from the compaction process are collected through a drainage system on site and discharged into a storage tank for transport to the Reverse Osmosis waste water treatment plant at Mavrorahi sanitary landfill site for treatment. The full container is moved by one of FODSA’S Mercedes Arocs 4142K 8×4 32 tonne Kaoussis Multilift XR26Z tilting neck hook loader vehicles and placed in the container storage area on the right-hand side. Then, the vehicle lifts an empty container from containers stored on the left-hand side of the storage area and dismounts it onto one of the traverse moving frames for reloading.

To maintain a speedy throughput of waste, FODSA purchased 60 Kaoussis TSC 1000 30m3 enclosed hook loader containers into which the waste can be compressed. 21 Mercedes Arocs 4142K 8×4 32 tonne Kaoussis Multilift XR26Z tilting neck hook loaders were also purchased by FODSA for the transport of the full and empty waste containers.

The full Kaoussis TSC 1000 30m3 hook loader containers are transported by FODSA’S new fleet of Mercedes Arocs hook loaders to the Mavrorahi sanitary landfill site for discharge. Once the driver has lifted a full container onto the hook lift vehicle at Efkarpia waste transfer station, they connect the 2 hydraulic pipe connections on the hook loader frame to the connectors on the Kaoussis TSC hook loader container. This is to open and close the container’s hydraulically opening rear door to discharge waste at the tip face of the landfill site.

The development of sustainable waste management systems has always been at the forefront of FODSA’S plans for Central Macedonia. These developments have been delivered through Michael Geranis, the President of FODSA. Mr. Geranis has been President of the Association for a considerable number of years. Since his initiation as President, his main agenda was to deliver sustainable waste management systems for the region, one of which being the development of the Efkarpia waste transfer station. Mr. Geranis is continually looking at other ways to develop sustainable waste management and recycling systems for the region both for the present as well as the future.

The Mavrorahi sanitary landfill site

The development of the Efkarpia waste transfer station is the second significant development by FODSA in waste management infrastructure for Central Macedonia. The first was the design, construction and operation of the Mavrorahi sanitary landfill site in 2008 to replace the old Tagaredes sanitary landfill when it became full. The Association has also rehabilitated some of its closed landfill sites into natural park land. A methane generator is used at the Tagaredes sanitary landfill site to harness electricity from the methane produced inside the landfill site.

Recycling education

Recycling is also high on the Association’s agenda which it promotes to citizens across the region. FODSA run educational programmes in all schools across the Prefecture of Central Macedonia to educate children on how FODSA manages and disposes of the Prefecture’s waste. The programmes also educate children about how waste can cause problems to the environment and how people should recycle more of their waste such as paper etc. These educational initiatives are delivered by FODSA’s staff to children through detailed video and interactive programmes in specially equipped classrooms at the environmental parks of Thermi and Derveni.

In conclusion…

In conclusion, FODSA has developed a state of the art waste transfer station at Efkarpia in Western Thessaloniki. The waste transfer station has reduced waste collection vehicle movements by 60% and consequently reduced their carbon footprint. FODSA is at the forefront of innovation in delivering sustainable waste management systems to the citizens and visitors of Central Macedonia for meeting the needs of the present as well as the future.

For more information: garbage32@hotmail.com