Cleaner, more sustainable and more appealing city neighbourhoods.

Joint City of Utrecht and Sidcon project to tackle inner-city problem

One of the biggest challenges in the city right now is rubbish and in particular, how to separate it effectively. As the number of people living in cities grows, the greater waste flows become. And it is large cities, above all, which have an opportunity to implement innovative solutions for the separation of household waste.

The challenge

In 2016, the City of Utrecht set itself the task of solving its urban problem of too much waste in too small a space. At the same time, the authorities were also aiming to make the city’s limited public spaces as attractive as possible. Theo Heller, project manager for the Utrecht municipality, explained that the biggest stumbling blocks to this were a lack of collection capacity, minimal public space and the reduction in refuse collection trucks. To meet this challenge, once the contract had been put out to tender, the Presstation Pro – Sidcon’s underground compactor – was selected as the best solution. As it happened, these compactors slotted perfectly into the existing concrete wells, doing away with the need for additional underground infrastructure and, in turn, foregoing any extra costs.

Successful trial

“The decision to install compactors was taken on the basis of a multiple call for tenders for an initial 10 compaction containers, because we first wanted to test them out”

explains Theo

During this trial we looked in particular at how much waste could be collected and their location in relation to public spaces. The major advantage of our compactors is that they can collect ten times as much recyclable waste and three times as much non-recyclable waste at one single location. As such, not only did we meet the capacity requirements, but the space-saving factor too. Whereas 2 or even 3 underground containers had been needed in the past, the municipality now only needed to install one underground compactor to collect the same amount of waste, or even more.

Collaboration and solution-based thinking

As part of the final call for tender, which involved 90 to 100 compactors, it turned out that there were other additional advantages too. For example, the quality of the recyclable waste was so good, that it was possible to process and recycle further without any problems. And for Theo Heller, a collaboration with Sidcon was, and still is, a bonus.

“Of course there were a number of teething problems with the compactor, but for us as client it was a real eye-opener as to how effective the collaboration was with Sidcon regarding the solution, especially with Boris (ed. Gubbels, technical director of Sidcon). He is a technical whizz kid and has sought to find structural solutions for our requirements along with his colleagues and ourselves. It has been a pleasant experience.”

The solution

By installing the Presstation Pro in Utrecht, fewer containers have been needed in the city, leading to increased amounts of public space, for example, for turning into green areas. What’s more, fewer waste collections are needed and this means that there are fewer transport movements in the city too. As a result, the municipality is working to attain its climate target: a clean city with fewer particulates and carbon emissions.  Given all these benefits, the very best solution for Utrecht was the purchase of the Presstation Pro.