A practice which reports on improved waste management performances in terms of hygiene, resource (fuel) efficiency and better coverage of the heritage area
Started in the beginning of 2017, there are currently already 30 installed, mostly in areas with a large volume of pedestrian passages and in public BBQ spots. 80 more was expected to be installed by the end of 2018.
Introducing compacting bins within the city center reduced the number of bins needed and times trucks have to go to empty them. These bins can accept quantities of waste 7 times larger than the bins actual volume, as it compacts it. The process in short lines happens in the following order:
• Sensor detects waste above certain level
• Detects fill degree
• Sends message to back office when almost full
These bins are located in strategic location such the historic center with high volume pedestrian passage and in public BBQ spots. They are all solar powered and the compactor can detect the level of waste in the bin and compact it with 740 kg of pressure. The bins are customisable and can have promotional and advertising space, WiFi hotpsots and much more.
What is currently being explored is their aesthetic integration with appropriate colors (green/gray), wrapping a compacting bin with colors/pictures of surrounding buildings in the historic center or integrating bin in city
The majority of the expenses go on the cost of purchase and placement of bins. A subsidy from OVAM (Flemish Waste Management regulator) was obtained while the rest of the financing comes from the yearly public funding. The tendering includes specific criteria & evaluation on aesthetics.
Evidence of success
This technology delays the need for collection to every 3-4 days instead of twice per day, even in the busiest spots in the city. The bins also contribution to aesthetic integration in terms of color (green, same as city furniture), uniformity in the streets and the bins are larger than regular street bins and therefore less bins needed.
Certain challenges were reflected in obtaining permission to install the bins within the (protected) historic sites. As the system is rather new and not substantially proven the technology had certain hick-ups in the beginning which were eliminated step by step.
Potential for learning or transfer
A successful implementation of this technology requires good collaboration between all parties, already involved in the tendering process. This includes architects, urbanists and waste management experts and respective city departments. Simple aesthetic construction, easy installation and further visual integration in the streets contribute to the implementation and its success and can be considered as a reason for multiplying this practice and technology in other cities.