Amsterdam opts for long-term collaboration with Sidcon

Shortage of space is a problem in any city. Every square metre is coveted. For large and congested cities like Amsterdam, this problem is only intensified. Likewise, quality of life and open spaces play an increasing role in how these cities are planned. No one is happy getting stuck behind a slow-moving refuse truck in traffic or with piles of rubbish bags on their pavements. Following a lengthy tendering process, including a trial period, the city of Amsterdam decided to embark on a long-term partnership with Sidcon for the installation of underground compactors for both general waste and recyclable plastics. The deciding factors were price and quality. We have now installed no fewer than 300 underground compactors in the capital.

Space savings priority number one

The criteria varied across the city boroughs. In Amsterdam-Zuid for example, the solution to the problems of waste should not be at the expense of parking spaces.

“Our main priority during the orientation phase was to make space savings. With that in mind, the underground compactor made perfect sense. By installing the Presstation Pro in a densely populated neighbourhood, Amsterdam residents don’t have to walk so far to get rid of their rubbish. This means the streets are cleaner, there’s no litter lying around and the traffic is less congested. We can work more effectively and residents can get rid of their rubbish 24/7. It’s a win-win for everyone concerned,”

explains Ronald Boekhout van Solinge, responsible for waste management in the borough of Amsterdam-Zuid.

“A lot more can go into the Presstation Pro than a normal underground container, so we need fewer containers. Of course, this frees up space. Another big plus is the Presstation’s monitoring system, which notifies us when the container is 80% full. That saves significantly on the number of collections by refuse trucks. Less traffic also means less pressure on the environment. That’s an important advantage.”

Marcel van Keuk, who is responsible for overseeing waste collection, couldn’t agree more:

Less disruption

Another important aspect in a big city is making sure the waste collection service is without hiccups.

“There are few breakdowns, but if something does go wrong, help is quickly on hand. Although it has to be said last New Year was a little nerve-racking. As a precaution, we’d sealed up all Presstations because of the fireworks. And when it came to 1 January, we couldn’t get them to open because the 4G network crashed as a result of people sending New Year texts. But that was quickly solved too,”

explains Glenn Jainathsingh, responsible for underground waste collection in the city of Amsterdam.

Increased waste separation

In central Amsterdam separated waste collection was a big issue. The council’s aim was to increase the percentage of waste separation so that more raw materials could be recycled and re-used for other useful purposes. So in 2016, the first underground compactor for recyclable plastic waste was installed in Elandsgracht in Amsterdam city centre. Because the Sidcon plastic waste compactor holds ten times the volume of a normal underground container, storage capacities for plastic waste soared overnight.

What happens in practice

The City of Amsterdam is more than satisfied. The city is looking cleaner and tidier and the number of journeys made by refuse trucks has decreased. As if to reinforce Amsterdam’s welcoming reputation, Ronald Boekhout van Solinge, waste collection manager in the Amsterdam-Zuid borough, invites everyone to take a look for themselves

“If any other municipality is still wondering, we say, come and take a look for yourselves and see where we have located our compactors. You’re welcome anytime!”