Solid Waste & Recycling


Dutch Trade Mission on Waste- Day 1

Follow the Trade Mission on Twitter at @2cg_  #dutchrecycling Waste Management Themed Trade Mission to Netherlands Day One The Dutch landscape is filled with green fields and polders: cows and canals. As we worked our way out of traffic we found ourselves in Amsterdam and surroundings on the first day of our trade mission. A few highlights follow: The Amsterdamse Energie Bedrijf (AEB) or Amsterdam Energy Company manages about 1.4 million tonnes of wastes per year from the City and 19 surrounding communities. They operate out of two facilities on the western harbor of Amsterdam. (Surprising fact of the day: Amsterdam has been incinerating wastes since 1895). The result at this facility is the equivalent of turning on the lights in 285,000 homes. Waste to energy was a key plank of reducing landfilling in the Netherlands to less than 3%. (See photo)

A few minutes away is the Orgaworld Greenmills facility (see photo). I characterize this as a one-stop shop for organic wastes. It is still very much in development. Presently they are able to accept ICI wastes for Anaerobic Digestion. Next-door is Amsterdam Biofuels. While a competitor Orgaworld works with them when synergies exist.

In Zaandam we visited a Modulo-Beton public depot that allows residents to deliver the typical materials that one deposits at depots (e.g. leaf and yard wastes, various metals, various wood, bulky waste etc.). What is unique about this system is that modular concrete blocks are used to construct these facilities. Residents drive up a ramp to the drop off depot and drop their materials into bins (set up in a saw tooth fashion). What is most interesting about this technology is that the blocks create usable space under the deck of the depot. In this case it was used as a household hazardous depot and general storage.

Finally we visited Sortiva in Alkmaar. They have a fully automated C&D sorting facility that was commissioned in 2010. Large excavators feed the waste onto conveyor systems that leads into a system of trommel screens, optical sorters, magnets and eddy currents to break the materials clean wood, biofuel (wood), metal, plastic and aggregate materials. There is no manual picking of any materials. A concern expressed was that the last two years have seen their incoming volumes decline by 35% as well as a drop in their tipping fees. This was blamed on the state of the economy and exacerbated by a current glut in incinerator capacity.


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