Zweckverband Abfallwirtschaft is using Volvo articulated haulers to transport approximately 50,000 tonnes of waste a year to a treatment facility and economical landfill site in Germany.
Germany is a leader in the recycling industry, handling more rubbish than most of its European counterparts. The country reuses up to 70% of recyclable materials, 41% of which are plastics.
Helping keep the country’s sustainability efforts on track is Zweckverband Abfallwirtschaft Region Hannover (AHA), a waste disposal company in Hanover. The company uses Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) articulated haulers to transport waste to the Mechanical Biological Waste Treatment Plant (MBT) in Lahe, just west of the city, and then deliver the treated product to one of its three landfill depots in Wunstorf-Kolenfeld. The company was established in 2003 from the merger of Abfallentsorgungsgesellschaft Hannover and the largest municipal waste management company in Hanover.
More than 600 types of waste gets processed at the MBT and AHA has invested around 60 million euros in the plant, which now incinerates waste fuel and takes care of the waste’s pretreatment process.
The company uses three 25 tonne Volvo articulated haulers, including a 10 year-old A25C-Series with 20,000 hours on the clock and two new A25F-Series. Another A25F model will also replace the vintage C-Series.
“We ordered our first Volvo hauler in 1999 and have continued to use Volvo ever since,” says Kirsten Krone, deputy field director at AHA. “The new series uses the latest technology and is far superior to other brands.”
The three-axle F-Series articulated haulers carry the roll-off containers via the A2 motorway for 18 miles (30 km). The waste is treated so that the organic ingredients ferment and turn into residual waste because of Germany’s strict waste legislation. Since 2005, the German government states that untreated waste cannot go to landfill.
The Volvo haulers make up to 16 journeys a day, bringing in 32, 33-cubic meter containers of waste for MBA to treat. Nearly 50,000 tonnes of waste is treated at the site every year, equivalent to 6,220 containers transported by the Volvo articulated haulers. The containers usually only travel on smooth roads but Volvo haulers can carry them the last half mile up the mountain to the landfill’s door. This is extremely rough, soft and bumpy terrain, but the machine’s excellent stability makes it possible.
“Even an off road vehicle would sink and get stuck on this kind of soft ground,” says Stefan Schlutter, deputy press secretary. “Only a hauler with thick balloon tires, low surface pressure high ground clearance and all-wheel drive can make the journey, so we rely on the Volvos to deliver.”
The A25F articulated hauler flags up every 150 hours of operation so that the company’s local dealer, Swecon in Garbsen, can regularly service the machines.
The Volvo articulated hauler chassis forms a platform for superstructures, converting the machine into several special purpose vehicles – such as a container hauler – designed for specific needs in tough operating conditions. The articulated hauler chassis features specific optional equipment as well as electrics and hydraulics to fit various superstructures, and is available as a pre and aftermarket option.
According to landfill workplace regulations it’s mandatory for all vehicles to feature a Protective Ventilation System. The Volvo filtration system constantly draws in air through a carbon activated filter to prevent any dust particles from entering the cab. In addition, an automatic climate control function makes the cab a comfortable working environment.
The treated waste produced by the MBT has a similar structure to peat that can be used as an environmentally friendly soil or natural fertilizer available to purchase straight from the landfill. AHA is an environmentally responsible company, which together with Volvo CE, is committed to creating a sustainable future.
Picture 1: An articulated hauler gets to work.
Picture 2: A Volvo articulated hauler at the Hanover landfill.