The municipality of Athens manages the collection of waste across Greece’s capital city, which is home to a population of three million people. The municipality provides a waste collection service twenty four hours a day to keep waste levels down, with collections taking place in the city centre e.g. Syntagma and Omonoia Square, several times a day. The collection of waste is therefore an important task.

Traditionally, the municipality’s waste collection vehicles travelled directly to EDSNA’S mechanical biological treatment plant at Ano Liosia at night to discharge their loads. This disrupted the municipality’s two night waste collection shifts which would have a knock on effect with the start of the twilight morning waste collection shift.

To improve the efficiency of the waste collection service, a waste transfer station was constructed by the municipality with Kaoussis in the Eleonas district of Athens. This comprises two moving conveyor loading systems which transport the waste to the top of the conveyor and discharges it by gravity into a fleet of waste transfer trailers. Kaoussis built twelve HAS 60 top loading waste transfer trailers of 56m3 capacity for Athens municipality, pulled by a fleet of Mercedes Arocs 2051 4X4 41 tonne two axle tractor units.

When the waste collection vehicles arrive at the plant, drivers are directed by staff to reverse up to the unloading aperture of one of the two conveyor unloading platforms. The vehicles discharge their loads onto the conveyor. A member of staff operates each moving conveyor system, transferring the waste into one of the Kaoussis HAS 60 waste transfer trailers. The compaction on these units is delivered from a silent diesel powered Hatz 3-cylinder engine with double gear pump .This power pack is fitted in each trailer and makes it independent during the loading and unloading process. Once a vehicle’s load has been transferred, its compaction barrier compresses the waste to the rear of the trailer. The special design of the compaction shields permits the continuous feeding of waste without any intervals.The process is repeated on each fresh load of waste delivered until the HAS 60 trailer is full. The payloads in each trailer can vary, depending on whether the waste contains much moisture such as food waste and broken glass, or volumous material such as packaging. An optimum payload in each full trailer is normally around twenty five tonnes net.

Once a waste transfer trailer is full, one of the drivers will disconnect the HAS 60’s compaction hydraulic power connection and move the tractor and trailer forward. Another tractor with empty trailer will move into place under the conveyor, its self-propelled power is started so that the loading process can continue.

The full trailers are taken by the drivers using the Mercedes Arocs tractor units, to EDSNA’S 600,000 tonne per annum, 1200 tonnes per day, mechanical biological treatment plant at Ano Liosia for discharge. Each driver makes two-three journeys per night to this treatment plant.

Waste received at the end of the night shift is compressed into some of the waste transfer trailers. These are parked afterwards in the tractor and waste transfer trailer parking area at Eleonas waste transfer station. The loaded tractor and trailers are driven by one of the day shift drivers to EDSNA’s Fyli sanitary landfill site either in the morning or the afternoon for discharge. This leaves all of the waste transfer trailers empty ready to receive the next night’s waste.
Mr. George Broulias is Vice Mayor of Waste Management for the municipality of Athens. He took over as Vice Mayor in 2016. Since then, Mr. Broulias has made many improvements to the waste collection system operated across the city. The key improvements are the building, construction and operation of the new waste transfer station at Eleonas.

Since the waste transfer station started operation in the summer of 2017, it has improved the municipality’s efficiency in collecting waste at night. It has also reduced diesel and external operating costs by preventing each waste collection vehicle having to travel to Ano Liosia at the end of each night’s shift to discharge its load.

Mr. Broulias has also made other improvements to the municipality’s waste collection services. Twenty five new Euro 6 low emission Iveco Eurocargo 150-250 4×2 15 tonne Kaoussis CRV 2000 14m3 waste collection vehicles, complete with Kaoussis comb and trunnion bin lifting equipment, have been purchased. These low emission vehicles will help to improve the municipality’s waste collection services and help towards improving the city’s emissions.

A new fleet of Euro 6 low emission Isuzu P75.52 4×2 7.5 tonne two axle satellite waste collection vehicles of 3m3 and 6m3 have also been purchased. These vehicles will collect waste from the parts of Athens which have narrow streets and restricted access for the larger waste collection vehicles.

Mr. Broulias wants to continue to improve the city’s waste collection system, to provide a more efficient system for the Athenians, both present and future. He will continue to reduce external operating costs, which are important when providing a sustainable waste collection system to a large capital city. In conclusion, the Eleonas waste transfer station has already served its purpose in making the municipality of Athens waste collection service more efficient.

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