Twenty-eight new Kiggen PD 729 and PD731 portable compactors supplied to the municipality of Tias by Geesinknorba Spain provide a very sustainable and efficient waste collection and transfer system in the municipality of Tias.

Timothy Byrne
In 2013, the municipality of Tias in Lanzarote ordered a fleet of 28 Kiggen portable compactors from Geesinknorba Spain. This was in conjunction with a 10-year contract awarded to private contractor Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, S.A. (FCC), Spain’s largest environmental services contractor, to provide a range of services to the municipality over the next 10 years including waste collection, street and beach cleaning services, the washing of empty waste containers, the management of parks and gardens, the pruning of trees, the internal cleaning of council buildings, the cleaning of six public conveniences and bathrooms along the beaches of Puerto Del Carmen, Playa de Matagorda, to Playa Chica (also known as Pila de la Barrilla) as well as the cleaning of schools.

Tias is home to the largest tourist resort on the island: Puerto Del Carmen, which receives tourists from the UK, Germany, Holland, Sweden as well as Eastern Europe all year round. The collection of waste is, therefore, a very important task because of the hot climate 12 months of the year combined with large quantities of waste being produced by hotels, bars, restaurants etc. from the tourist resort.
Installing a More Efficient Solution
The 28 Kiggen portable compactors that were purchased in order to provide a more efficient waste collection service to the hotels and resort of Puerto Del Carmen, are comprised of seven Kiggen PD729 14 cubic metre capacity units and 21 PD731 units of 25 cubic metres capacity. The compactors are replacing the 800 and 1000 litre containers currently used by the municipality to collect the hotels’ and resorts’ waste so it could all be placed in one large compactor container at communal collection points, which is far more hygienic, reducing odors produced in the warm temperatures. The Councillor for the Environment at the Municipality of Tias, Franciso Aparicio, explains, “The reason the municipality decided to purchase the 28 Kiggen portable compactors from Geesinknorba Spain was to improve the environment of Tias because the tourist areas are very important to the island’s local economy.”

Tias has invested considerably in building state-of-the-art communal collection points in Puerto Del Carmen. This has involved the construction of a ramp and solid concrete perimeter walls, reinforced internally with heavy-duty steel girders, to maintain the aesthetics of the surroundings. Each communal collection point has electrical connections to operate the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors. The concrete floor slab of these collection points have been fitted with two heavy-duty steel strips, which are the width of the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors. When the containers are both off loaded and collected by the hook loader vehicle, they are placed on the strips to avoid damaging the floor of the communal collection point. There are two heavy-duty steel bump stops at the end of the steel strips to prevent the Kiggen compactors being forced too far back in the communal collection point by the hook loader vehicle when both collecting and off loading the compactors from damaging the rear wall.

A heavy-duty water connection was also fitted at each communal collection point so that any spillage of liquid wastes could be washed down. Drainage systems were fitted along the internal rear-facing wall of the communal collection point so that all water could drain into the underground sewer system once the washing of the communal collection point was finished. In addition, a heavy-duty floodlight has been fitted to help the loading of the Kiggen compactors at night, as well as assisting the driver of the hook loader when he collects the container for emptying in the early hours. All communal collection points are also being fitted with CCTV cameras so that the management of Tias can monitor them 24 hours a day. This is to prevent the theft of the Kiggen compactor containers by a rogue waste operator.

The municipality has also built gardens with palm trees, constructed stone wall exteriors using volcanic ash infill and incorporated the use of steel bollards at one hotel so that the communal collection points fit in with their surroundings. Currently, 18 communal collection points have been built to house the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors in Puerto Del Carmen.


The Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors have been designed specially for the municipality of Tias and the resort of Puerto Del Carmen. The compactors are much larger in terms of cubic capacity compared to conventional Kiggen portable compactors used for the storage of waste. They are fully watertight to retain any leachates produced when compacting the waste. A specially designed lockable lid has also been incorporated into the design so that the lid is not vertical as on other competitors’ compactors, making it easier to load. A steel step has been provided near to the loading aperture of the compactor so that people can load bulky waste easily inside the Kiggen compactors. The equipment has a failsafe system to prevent the operation of the compactor by unauthorized people. The compactors have electrics with the latest self-diagnostic system able to analyze an electrical fault. They also have the necessary electrical connections to install a communication system as well as a GPS module so that all of the containers can be GPS tracked.
Portable Collection
The Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors are collected from the communal collection points every morning in Puerto Del Carmen, seven days a week, by four hook loader vehicles. The weight in the Kiggen portable compactors will vary, subject to the time of year and whether it is high tourist season. In the height of the tourist season, more waste will be produced so the weight in the Kiggen portable compactors will increase. The Kiggen portable compactors will be taken to the sanitary landfill and dirty materials recycling facility (MRF) at Zonzamas in the municipality of Teguise where their contents will be discharged.

Before the portable compactors are returned to the communal collection points, they are washed out with disinfectant. This will remove any remaining leachates from compacting food waste. The disinfectant will eliminate any germs or foul odors produced so that the containers fit in with their surroundings in the tourist resort of Puerto Del Carmen. When they are delivered back to the communal collection points in Puerto Del Carmen, the driver of the hook loader will reconnect the electrical supply to the portable compactors so that the loading of fresh waste can continue.

The hook loader equipment to lift and carry the Kiggen portable compactors was purchased from Spanish hook loader manufacturer Cayvol. The equipment has been mounted onto a Scania P320 Series 6×2 chassis with tag lift axle to reduce tyre wear when the vehicle is empty. The chassis is of 26 tons gross vehicle weight and features the GA766R (Allison 3200R) automatic transmission with retarder to reduce brake wear. Three of the Scania P320 Series 6×2 26 tonne chassis with Cayvol hook loader equipment are permanently used to transport the Kiggen PD729 and PD731 portable compactors to the sanitary landfill site at Zonzamas. One of the Scania P320 6×2 26 ton tag axle chassis with Cayvol hook loader equipment is spare and is only used when there are increased volumes of waste produced at the height of the tourist season or to cover servicing of one of the other three hook loaders.

The waste collection service in Puerto del Carmen is carried out during the day, seven days a week. The service starts at 6am and finishes around 1pm. At the height of the summer season, the collection service will start at 5am before any tourists are up and traffic builds up in the resorts. This helps to provide an efficient waste collection and transfer system without inconveniencing tourists.
Dropping at the Landfill
Once the Kiggen portable compactors are full, they are transported to the waste treatment plant in the centre of the island called Complejo Ambiental de Zonzamas. The waste treatment plant is managed, owned and operated by the Excmo Cabildo Insular de Lanzarote—the island council. Waste collection and transfer vehicles from the seven councils across the island—Arrecife, Tias, Haria, San Bartolome, Teguise, Tinajo and Yaiza—deliver the waste directly to this facility. It is open to accept deliveries of waste 24 hours a day, although 80 percent of waste is delivered to the facility in the day while the remaining 20 percent is delivered in the night from Arrecife. Municipal waste is buried in the sanitary landfill, which has existed on this site for more than four decades.

The Scania three axle Cayvol hook loader vehicles carrying the Kiggen portable compactors enter a weighbridge for their loads to be weighed. They drive along the haul road up to the tip face of the landfill where they discharge their loads, which are then compacted by a landfill compactor and other plant machinery operational at the tip face of the landfill. The hook loader vehicle returns to the weighbridge to collect its weighbridge ticket before leaving site. The landfill flares methane produced from the burial of the waste and leachate is collected and treated. The landfill complies fully to the EU Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC). The site also has a crematorium for animal carcases, a bulking station for old furniture and a bulking station for paper, cardboard, glass and plastic recyclables, for example, PET, HDPE and Tetrapak pre-sorted for baling and transport to reprocessors in both the Canary Islands and mainland Spain.

There is also a dirty MRF operational onsite which processes some of the cleaner municipal waste delivered by Arrecife, Tias and the five other municipalities if it is not too soiled with food waste. The plant extracts paper and cardboard, plastic, for example, PET, HDPE, Tetrapak, glass and food waste. The waste is initially deposited into a waste storage bunker in mixed form. An overhead crane with cactus type grab lifts the waste and places it into a hopper to the right of the waste storage bunker. The mixed waste moves up a conveyor and enters a trommel where the waste is tumbled so that it is easier to sort by manual labor. The waste enters a conveyor belt system where all recyclables are extracted into different commodities by manual labour. The food waste is extracted at the end of the process and sent to an anaerobic digestion plant on site while the reject fraction is deposited in the sanitary landfill. This facility helps Lanzarote meet its EU landfill diversion targets.

Geesinknorba Spain has been selling its Kiggen portable and static compactor range since the early 1980s in Spain. The company has also constructed the largest waste transfer station in Spain in Cadiz which processes all municipal waste produced in Cadiz as well as in San Fernando, the neighboring municipality. The waste delivered to the facility is compressed into hermetically sealed roll on off containers and transported to a waste treatment plant at Miramundo outside the city.  Furthermore, Geesinknorba Spain has also built three waste transfer stations for municipal waste for public company NILSA in Navarra in the North of Spain as well as two waste transfer stations in Alicante, one for processing municipal waste and the other at the airport of Alicante for processing its waste. In conclusion, the new Kiggen PD 729 and PD731 portable compactors supplied to the municipality of Tias by Geesinknorba Spain will provide a very sustainable and efficient waste collection and transfer system in the municipality of Tias for many years to come.


Timothy Byrne is a worldwide waste collection and transfer systems consultant and a freelance waste management technical writer based in Birmingham, UK. He has worked in the waste management industry for 20 years. He lives in the UK and has carried out a lot of work and research into waste collection and waste transfer systems in Mediterranean countries. He has also visited New Delhi to carry out research into waste collection and waste transfer systems in India’s capital city. He can be reached at 0044 1384 211001 or 0044 7545 616110 or via e-mail at

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