By Timothy Byrne, Waste Management Expert and FACTS Online Columnist

On 1 November 2016, UTE RM2 won the contract to provide waste collection services for the eastern part of Madrid. The contract has been awarded by Madrid City Council for a period of four years, with the option to include an additional two years.  

UTE RM2 is a consortium made up of Spain’s largest environmental services companies: Valoriza Servicios Medioambiente, Acciona, OHL, and Ascan. The waste collection contract employs 750 people and serves a population of 1,164,212. The service is operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year to collect the 400,000 tonnes of waste produced by those living in the eastern part of Madrid, and comprises three collection shifts: morning, afternoon and night.  

To provide an efficient waste collection service, UTE RM2 operates a new fleet of rear and side loading waste collection vehicles of two and three axle configurations. All the vehicles are powered by compressed natural gas which gives zero emissions: an important factor when working in a city. As part of the new service, UTE RM2 invested in the roll-out of the side loading container collection system. The consortium purchased more than 3,000 side loading containers for the new contract in two capacities: 2,400 for the collection of organic waste and recyclable packaging, and 3,200 litre containers for the residual waste fraction. The lids of each container are colour coded, e.g.: brown for organic, yellow for recyclable packaging, and orange lid with a grey container for residual waste. More than 50 per cent of the new containers have been adapted for use by disabled people, with a foot bar opening the containers’ lids. 

Waste packaging containers are emptied daily, although this can be every two days in some parts of eastern Madrid, while residual waste containers are emptied daily. 

 

The introduction of the side loader waste collection system has helped UTE RM2 to redesign the waste collection service, giving more services (different fraction, special maintenance) with the same work force. This has allowed UTE RM2 increase the quality of the service and offer new services to the council. Operatives from the previous service, who emptied the 800 litre four-wheeled containers using the former rear loading system, have been redeployed within the department to collect biowaste as well as door-to-door paper, cardboard and glass recyclables from commercial premises. 

GIS/GPS systems have been fitted in the new vehicles, providing geographic information 24 hours a day to show the vehicles’ locations on their waste collection routes. RFID aerials have also been fitted on the new vehicles to read the tags on the side loader.

UTE RM2 has made major advances in the development of the waste collection services for Madrid’s central and peripheral zones, meeting the city’s current, and future, requirements.

For more information, email: garbage32@hotmail.com