Solid Waste & Recycling


Netherlands Waste Management Themed Trade Mission – Day 3

Today saw us leave our hotel in The Hague for a cross country trek to a number of waste management facilities. We visited a hazardous waste processing facility, anaerobic digestion facility and composting/AD technology provider. This blog presents some highlights from various site visits and then provides some background information on each place visited.

1. ATM

ATM, part of the Shanks Group, operates a 1.9 million tonne/year soil remediation and household/industrial hazardous waste. The facility has three parts:

  1. Thermal cleaning plant– drum/kiln operates at a high temperature and is used to clean soils.
  2. Pyrolysis plant– for hazardous waste. Creates a flammable gas that is directed to the thermal cleaning plant.
  3. Waste water/sludge processing– oily waste (i.e. largely contaminated soils) are separated into oil (used as fuel for thermal cleaning plant), water (purified in membrane filter) and sediments (pyrolyzed).

The cleaned soils go to neighbouring facility (construction material sale company). They market these soils. Most are sold at no cost and used for road construction projects. The cleaned soil is black in appearance, due to the high temperature.


ATM is a processor of hazardous waste. It operates 24/7 and processes 1.9 million tonne of waste per annum, of which 95% can be reused. ATM focuses on the treatment of contaminated soil, packed chemical waste, oil containing sludge and waste water.

2. Attero

Attero is a large waste management company operating throughout the Netherlands. They process about 3.3 million tonnes of a variety of wastes and have about 30% of the market share. They have about 800 employees with an annual turnover of 324 million euros.

We visited their new anaerobic digestion facility in Tilburg. They have dry AD, wet AD and tunnel composting (post AD) at this facility. This facility has an annual input of about 70,000 tonnes/year and cost 17 million euros to construct. They produce biogas and compost (36,000 tonnes/year).

(In the Netherlands there has been a trend of reducing tipping fees for biowaste. It was 50-60 euros/tonne in the past but now about 35 euros/tonne.)


Attero focuses on the large-scale processing of domestic remnant waste, organic waste and mineral waste. This includes the waste of almost 40 per cent of all Dutch households, or over 6 million people. They also process commercial waste.

The waste is either processed in one of their waste to energy plants or recycled. Attero is also the largest green gas producer in the Netherlands. This gas is produced by means of anaerobic digestion from amongst others kitchen waste the remaining waste is used to produce compost for soil remediation in agriculture and horticulture and (bio) fuels for power plants.


3. Christiaens Group

Christiaens Group is a well-known composting technology in Canada with larger plants in Hamilton and Guelph and some other facilities in diverse locations such as Cape Breton and Fort McMurray. We visited their head office and manufacturing facility in Horst. After being treated to some traditional “vlaai” (graham cracker like crust, whipping cream, some kind of fruit).

Their newest facility is located at Hoek van Holland. It accepts 200,000 tonnes/year of greenhouse waste (80% received over three months).

Christiaens Group

Christiaens Group, originating from- and still very active in the mushroom growing industry, is a designer and manufacturer, for more than 30 years, of In-Vessel Composting and Anaerobic Digestion technology- and plants. Both these techniques are applied for the treatment of organic waste. Christiaens Group has built several In-Vessel Composting projects throughout Canada.

For the purpose of organic waste treatment projects they work, among others, together with partner Maple Reinders. Projects examples in the Toronto region are the composting facilities for the City of Hamilton, Region of Peel and the City of Guelph, which opened September 2011.

Facilities dealing with organic waste can differ a lot worldwide depending on local legislation, quality of input materials and market circumstances for the end product. This variety of factors can be incorporated into the plant design. As a valuable step prior to the composting process Christiaens Group also designs, manufactures and deploys equipment for high- and low solids Anaerobic Digestion plants.

Air handling, process control, water management, odour treatment and energy management play a very important role in the successful operation of an organic waste treatment facility. All mentioned Canadian plants produce a high quality- and valuable compost. Organic waste such as green waste, kitchen waste, SSO, bio solids and digestate are used as input for their composting facilities.


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