It was in 2014 that the City of Utrecht first started installing Sidcon underground compactors. This helped meet the need for more waste collection capacity at specific locations. Eight years later and the city now has 200 underground compactors which are operational. For Utrecht, the Sidcon compactor represents a valuable addition, as Theo Heller, project manager for the municipality, explains:
“The underground compactor gives us more capacity and, as such, solves quite a few problems. More capacity cuts down on transport because fewer journeys are needed to empty full containers. Fewer journeys mean a reduced risk of damage or accidents on the city’s congested streets. What’s more, fewer containers are necessary, thus reducing the pressures on open space. Not only that, we can cut down on the number of vehicles and staff as well, both of which are in short supply at the moment.
Installing underground compactors at as many locations as possible
“The municipality’s policy is geared up to more green and less traffic in the city. Furthermore, in the long term we aim to completely eliminate the collection of waste from wheelie-bins and bags. This also reduces the physical strain on personnel. In physical terms, it’s hard work emptying wheelie-bins and collecting waste bags all day: the municipality wants to change this. Partly for this reason, the municipality is installing underground compactors at as many locations as possible throughout the city: in the centre, in high-rise neighbourhoods, but also in areas where demand for capacity is high.”
A Sidcon compactor is more expensive to buy but quickly recoups its costs if used correctly.
“Different factors are at play when weighing up the options between a standard container and an underground compactor. The first thing we look at when choosing a waste collection method is required capacity. Next, we look at access to the location and the situation on the ground in terms of public space (for example, if there are schools or busy cycling routes in the neighbourhood), but also as to whether an access road might add to the congestion. Ultimately, financial viability is a key factor, because taxpayers’ money is involved and we have to use this wisely. A Sidcon compactor is more expensive to buy but quickly recoups its costs if used correctly. But even when there is no financial benefit, we sometimes opt to install an underground compactor. Such decisions are not taken lightly, but – for example – in narrow and crowded streets or complex locations with congestion it can be advantageous.”
Sidcon has a high quality product
“We have been working successfully with Sidcon since 2014,” reveals Theo Heller. “Sidcon has a high-quality product, the company listens to our needs and provides innovative solutions. Response to any questions we have is fast and their way of working is flexible. Sidcon’s staff stand full-square behind the quality of the product and that’s an ingredient for effective cooperation.”