To enhance its waste collection service, private waste and cleaning services provider L’Arca del Maresme has purchased two hybrid LI-ON power N2-series intermittent rear loading waste collection vehicles from Geesinknorba Spain, as part of broader objectives to reduce carbon emissions and noise.
The unit has been on the market for about 12-18 months and is gaining popularity in Spain. The Mini-series, G-series, N-series and MF-series range of waste collection equipment products offer capacities of 5-30cu m.
In July 2014, L’Arca del Maresme won the four-year waste collection and street cleansing contract from the municipality of Argentona in Catalonia. This involves the collection of nonrecyclable waste, organics and dry recyclables from a population of 12,000 people, as well as providing street cleaning services using manual labour and mechanical sweeping equipment.
The company also empties all litter bins in the streets of the municipality using a fleet of small Piaggio collection vehicles.
Argentona’s waste collection differs from that of most other towns in Spain in that it has a doorstep waste collection service for 75% of its population. This is thought to contribute to it being one of the top 15 municipalities in the region for achieving consistently high tonnages of high-quality dry recyclables.
Its waste system involves collecting non-recyclable waste in plastic sacks and dry recyclables such as paper, cardboard, plastic, steel and aluminium cans in categorised containers.
Organic compostable waste is also collected. Residents place this in storage containers of 10- and 25-litre capacity, which have a closing lid. Commingled coloured glass bottles and jars are collected in green igloo containers placed along the streets.
The remaining 25% of the population’s waste and recyclables are collected from containers placed at communal collection points along the streets.
Argentona municipality had previous experience of Geesinknorba waste collection equipment from its existing KT2 24H25 unit with a Renault chassis, and had stipulated that this was the equipment it wanted used. Geesinknorba’s equipment was contributing to high operational efficiency while reducing maintenance and whole life costs.
The use of hybrid technology was further strengthened by the municipality and L’Arca del Maresme’s longer term environmental strategy based on reducing carbon dioxide and noise emissions, and improving the general air quality of the environment.
This is underpinned by the municipality working in conjunction with Diputació de Barcelona – the county council of Catalonia – to cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 to meet the requirements of the Climate Change Act 2008.
One of the technical and operational advantages of the LI-ON power units fitted on the two N2 vehicles supplied to Argentona are that the units are electrically operated and provide a noise-free waste collection service. This is ideal when collecting waste in the middle of the night, which happens 75% of the time to reduce street congestion.
Other benefits include the use of a special industrial-type of lithium ion battery which has been specially designed and manufactured for Geesinknorba. The power units weigh 500kg, which includes the weight of the battery, electric motor and electric pump, so it does not have any effect on the N2’s payload that the waste collection unit can legally carry.
The Renault truck chassis recharges the battery when the vehicle is moving from one collection point to another once it reaches a speed of 8kph. The power unit also achieves a fuel saving of 30% when in operation.
The batteries need charging from an electrical connection at the workshop once a week to make sure they are stabilised. They are designed not to fall below the 60-70% level. But if they did fall to around 25% because of a technical or diagnostic issue, the power unit would automatically disconnect.
In such cases, the hydraulics for operating the packing mechanism and bin lifting equipment would be provided through the chassis power take-off, using the Geesinknorba SmartPack system. This reduces the chassis fuel consumption by 15% when used.
The benefit of using the Smart- Pack system in conjunction with the LI-ON power hybrid system is that it ensures that if the conventional chassis power take-off is used, it will maintain a high level of operational productivity for the waste collection service.
Timothy Byrne is a waste management consultant specialising in the collection and transfer of waste in Mediterranean countries
L’Arca Del Maresme and collections
A private company, L’Arca del Maresme has specialised in providing environmental services for the Comarca del Maresme region of Catalonia since 1997. It provides waste collection, street and beach cleaning, as well as the operation of household waste recycling centres and waste transfer station contracts for the region’s municipalities.
The door-to-door collection system in Argentona was one of the first to be introduced by a municipality in Catalonia. It has been in operation since the previous waste collection contract was awarded to L’Arca del Maresme in 2004.
Initially, non-recyclable waste and organic waste fractions were collected from residents’ doorsteps. In 2009 this was expanded to include the collection of four dry recyclable streams: paper, cardboard, plastics and cans.
Following this expansion, L’Arca del Maresme has achieved a high participation rate in the collection of dry recyclables while maintaining consistently high quality standards of the collected dry recyclate.
How L’Arca Del Maresme uses the hybrid power units
The hybrid power units include a N2 8L22 9cu m unit mounted on a Renault D16 Euro 6 16-tonne 4x2 chassis, and a N2 18H25 18cu m unit mounted onto a Renault Premium D26 Euro 6 26-tonne 6x2 rear steer chassis.
Both chassis feature the Allison 3000 series automatic transmission to reduce driver fatigue in the start and stop operations experienced in waste collection operations.
The units accompany an existing Geesinknorba KT2 24H25 24cu m capacity waste collection vehicle, fitted with a roof-mounted crane, mounted to a Renault Premium 340 DXI 6x2 rear steer 26-tonne chassis. This unit is used to collect dry recyclables such as paper, cardboard, plastics, and steel and aluminium cans from the containers that service 25% of the municipality’s population.
Each of the two N2 series units is fitted with the L200 combi-lifter, which consists of a comb bar for emptying DIN 30740-type containers of 80–1,100 litres capacity. Trunnion arms have also been fitted to both units to enable the emptying of containers of 660- and 1,100-litre capacities.
This gives the crew the versatility of using either the comb or trunnion arms.
The N2-series has an intermittent packing mechanism using the patented Geesinknorba slide block system. This achieves a compaction ratio of 6:1 to yield a high payload.