Collecting underground waste in Nicosia

Written by: Recycling Waste World | Published:

Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and home to a population of 250,000 residents swelled by cosmopolitan business visitors as well as holidaymakers during the tourist season. The latter tend to stay in the beach resorts but visit Nicosia to see the ancient parts of the city. Waste collection is, therefore, a very important task to maintain the city's cleanliness for citizens, business people and tourists. Specialist in waste collection in Mediterranean countries, Tim Byrne reports on an underground waste container system that helps reduce odours and increases efficiency.

Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus and home to a population of 250,000 residents, swelled by cosmopolitan business visitors as well as holidaymakers during the tourist season. Holidaymakers tend to stay in the beach resorts but visit Nicosia to see the ancient parts of the city.


Waste collection is, therefore, a very important task to maintain its cleanliness for citizens, business people and tourists, writes Tim Byrne, a specialist in waste collection in Mediterranean countries.


To help improve the city’s’ cleanliness, Nicosia Municipality has installed underground waste collection containers for the storage of waste produced by shops, tavernas, hotels, apartments and domestic dwellings. The waste includes domestic waste, food waste, packaging material, plastics, glass, aluminium and steel cans from food containers and also textiles. By using the underground container collection system, it helps to reduce odours produced in the hot Mediterranean climate.


The underground containers are made of glass fibre and are of three cubic metres capacity. To ensure the efficient emptying of these containers, the municipality awarded an annual collection contract to Panaos. The contract has been renewed for three consecutive years to run since the introduction of the underground waste collection service in Nicosia in 2011.


To provide the waste collection service, Panaos used a 12-year old Seddon Atkinson Pacer 6x4 26 tonne chassis which was imported from the UK to Cyprus at the end of its first working life. The chassis is to Euro 3 specification and is fitted with the Allison 3000 Series five speed automatic transmission. 


Panaos mounted on to the Seddon Atkinson Pacer 6x4 chassis a remanufactured 12-year year old Panaos 19 cubic metre rear loading refuse collection body with the patented ‘swing link’ packing mechanism. Panaos also designed and manufactured a special retractable hopper extension. This is left in the raised position, fitting into the tailgate profile perfectly, preventing its height becoming higher than the vehicle’s overall travelling height when either travelling to its collection shift, or to and from the disposal site. 


No spillage of waste


The tailgate extension is lowered when the three cubic metre underground containers are emptied by the vehicle’s truck mounted crane, so there is no spillage of waste. This is also ensured by the ‘swing link’ compaction mechanism operating according to the quantity of waste being discharged out of the underground collection containers into the Panaos hopper/compaction body. 


If the container is a quarter or half full, one or two intermittent packing cycles can be operated to clear the vehicle’s hopper and compress the waste inside its compactor body. If the underground container is three quarters or totally full, the packing cycle can be operated on a continuous cycle. This will complete three to four cycles, and if the hopper is cleared by then, the standard red stop button can be pushed on the side of the vehicle’s tailgate which will finish the compaction cycle it is completing and then stop. 


If the emergency stop button is used, the compaction cycle will stop instantly in compliance with CE marking. The packer and carriage then works in the reverse action, leaving a gap of 500mm between the tip of the packer blade and the hopper loading rave, enabling the driver/operative to free any obstruction and preventing a blockage.


The Panaos 19 cubic metre compactor body has the ability to hold 9.5 to 10 tonnes of waste when fully loaded while not exceeding the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight of 26 tonnes. This is achieved by the high compaction ratio of the Panaos compactor body which compacts the waste at a ratio of 5.1 based on 500kgs per cubic metre of body space. 


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