ACCIONA is a global construction and environmental services company with its headquarters in Spain. It operates a number of high profile recycling, waste collection, street and beach cleansing contracts across the Iberian mainland and its islands. The company currently operates a recycling and waste collection contract on behalf of the Municipality of Paracuellos del Jarama, a small town with a population of approximately 24, 500 people, which is near to Madrid.

To provide an efficient recycling and waste collection service, ACCIONA has purchased a 23m3 VDL Translift Maxxum side loader unit. This is mounted onto a Euro 6 compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Iveco Stralis AD300 S30.YPS AUT.RSU 6×2 rear steer 26 tonne chassis with retarder. To ease driver fatigue, the chassis is fitted with the Allison 3000 series automatic transmission.

This unit works six days a week starting at 6am and finishing at 1pm. It collects one load of residual waste on three days of the week, while on the other three days, it collects one load of residual waste and one load of mixed plastics and tin cans. Containers of 3200 litres capacity are used across the Municipality of Paracuellos del Jarama. These are placed at communal collection points along the street. The containers are coloured coded so that residents know which container into which to place their recyclables or waste.

I had the opportunity to accompany the Maxxum unit on its collection route for two days. During this time, I established that the product was very efficient and made light work of emptying the 3200 litre containers. I also noted how quickly the compaction cycle compressed the waste. From the driver’s perspective, the unit was very easy to operate using the in-cab joystick and compaction controls. The lifter arm works efficiently and is enhanced by its work lights. The latter gives the driver a good view at night. The rear mounted spot light also gives the driver additional visibility when reversing in the early hours.  All of these operating advantages encourage the driver to be enthusiastic in operating the Maxxum unit. It makes their working day more enjoyable without the worries of problems or stresses from operating the equipment.

The 23m3 Maxxum unit was chosen so that ACCIONA had the advantage of collecting a combination of mixed municipal waste, bulky waste and recyclables. This makes the unit perfectly suited for Paracuellos del Jarama, especially since there is always some additional spare capacity for any increases in recycling and waste volumes. Once the vehicle has completed its collection route, the recyclable and waste fractions are delivered to the Complejo Medioambiental waste treatment plant near to Loeches to be recovered. I accompanied the vehicle to this facility and I noted how quickly the Maxxum unit discharged its load. The tailgate was raised efficiently and the load was discharged in a matter of seconds. The ejection and compaction barrier retracted quickly to enable the loading of fresh waste to continue while the lowering of the tailgate was also completed efficiently.

I have been reviewing side loader waste collection vehicles across Spain for over twenty years and during this time I have gained much operating experience of other competitive side loaders operating in the market. From all those I have seen, I think that the VDL Translift Maxxum unit is the most efficient and user friendly. The product is also made from high quality Domex and Hardox abrasive resistant steels, a crucial factor in aiding the vehicle’s long term longevity. In conclusion, the VDL Translift Maxxum side loader is a very efficient unit. It has been designed with the driver in mind and helps him to complete his day’s work effectively. The unit is also very robust adding to its sustainability working in the harsh world of waste collection. All of these factors help towards delivering a sustainable waste collection service for the Municipality of Paracuellos del Jarama, for many years to come.

For more information, contact Timothy Byrne B.Sc., (Wastes Management), MCIWM, ISWA IWM, at 0044 1384 211001 or 0044 7545 616110 or via e-mail at [email protected].