Hugo de Boer, Senior Project Manager at the Dijk & Waard municipality, casts a critical eye on the urban environment. “Our scarce outdoor spaces need safeguarding. Using every square metre as sparingly as possible is vital to ensure a good quality of life in Dijk & Waard. The way in which we collect waste has an impact on the urban landscape and the routes used by waste collection vehicles.”
Heerhugowaard is a town in development, one which is expanding fast. The core area around its railway station has been designated as high-rise. This means that the density of residents is higher in a relatively smaller area. By building upwards, more dwellings can be constructed and the neighbourhood can be designed more effectively and more spaciously. The municipality of Deeg & Waard, of which Heerhugowaard is part, is pursuing a waste collection policy which aims to put waste underground in high-rise neighbourhoods.
The problem facing Hugo de Boer and his project team was where to locate the underground containers. “We wanted a concealed look, but at the same time, to make them accessible to passers-by. That’s sometimes conflicting. There are underground cables and pipes to take into account and the energy transition will mean even more of these. We aim to use less concrete and have more green so that we can deal with heavy rainfall and improve the quality of the surroundings. It’s a complex puzzle we try to solve in discussion with town planners and property developers.”
“Sidcon’s underground compactor helps us limit the impact on outdoor spaces. The underground container installed by Sidcon includes a compactor for compressing waste. Compared to a conventional underground container, capacity is increased significantly. In the past, six standard containers of five cubic metres each would have been required, whereas now just one underground compactor is needed. Suddenly this gives you a lot more freedom and flexibility.”
“For the Lapis Lazuli project in Heerhugowaard, it was decided to install two underground compactors for general waste. It gave us capacity for up to 207 apartments. If we’d had to solve the problem using conventional containers, seven of them would have been needed. This means big savings in terms of space and greater flexibility in where to locate the compactors.
“There are financial and sustainability benefits too. The costs of acquiring two Sidcon compactors are considerably lower than seven conventional underground containers. What’s more, the difference in maintenance costs between seven and two containers shouldn’t be underestimated. Seven concrete wells and seven conventional underground containers will have a much greater environmental impact than just two compactors. As far as we’re concerned, the Sidcon compactors are the perfect solution for high-rise and other densely populated neighbourhoods.”