Optimal equipment for optimal waste handling

Published 14/11, 2023 at 14:52

The waste disposal and recycling sector is growing rapidly across Europe with demand increasing for equipment to handle and recycle waste. Our feature looks at some of the developments in this booming sector.

Presently, waste treatment in Europe is almost equally distributed between landfill (unsorted waste) and recycling (approx. 38% for both). It is the intention of the EU commission to reduce landfill to 10% of the total waste being handled and bring recycling to 75% by 2030, while distributing the remaining 15% onto other waste treatment methods. Therefore, within the next six to seven years, it is expected that business will double in these areas with an increased demand for equipment. We look at some of interesting cases and developments.


CASE wheel loaders crucial for waste handling in Poland

CASE introduced the 621F and 721F ‘Waste Handler’ models in 2016 to its wheel loader range, with customised radiators with wider fins and guards needed for use on landfill sites. Since then, it has been working closely with customers, developing and upgrading. Now new members of the range of waste specific wheel loaders can be found and customised with factory fitted options. These include as the Waste Handler guards package, with high tip buckets, central lubrication or an extended ‘XR’ lift arm configuration. Guard packages include articulation covers, front hose covers, transmission bottom guard and front chassis bottom guard, cylinder guards, cylinder ejectors, front light guards, rear light guards and fuel tank guard. Various types of tyres are available too, including higher tread tyres to protect from cuts and punctures and slick (non-pneumatic) tyres. 

Poland is a good example where the recycling of waste is gaining impetus. With a focus on sustainability, the EU and local authorities are striving for increased recycling. CASE states that plant managers and operators in Poland have found out just how well adapted its wheel loader range is to the sector. Since the introduction of the Waste Handler sub-models, more than 120 heavy line wheel loaders have been delivered by Polish dealers to landfills and recycling sites in the country. The majority of deliveries have happened since 2018, when the CASE distribution network was overhauled, appointing highly experienced and specialised local dealers. 

CASE states that its wheel loaders’ success in the recycling sector in Poland is the result of a combination of high quality, value for money and the expertise of its dealer service departments with many repeat purchases as well an increasing number of new customers. Examples of successful use of CASE products include one in Wroclaw where Ekosystem Sp. z o. o. has been using a CASE 621G wheel loader for a year. The plant, opened 11 years ago and processes 6,000t/year of biodegradable material. The 621G loads green waste into a shredder and mixer, forms compost heaps and loads material into a drum screen. It also loads compost and non-composted material into trucks. Adam, who has operated the machine from the start, said: “The CASE 621G wheel loader has been trouble free so far. The ergonomics of the cabin are very good and it was easy for me to learn to operate it. The technical parameters of the loader allow for effective work at the composting plant.” 

Another example is in the village of Olszowa, where the waste treatment plant ZZO-Olszowa serves 130,000 inhabitants using three Case machines. Two Case 721F wheel loaders arrived in 2015, and in 2021 a 721G joined the fleet. The machines loads waste into a bag ripper with the company praising the comfort and functionality, as well as low fuel consumption. Another example is from Radomsko, where the municipal waste treatment plant ZUOK PGK processes 40,000t/year of mixed municipal waste and 30,000t/year of biodegradable material. A CASE 721G wheel loader has been in use here since 2019. According to the operator Tomasz Zawisza, the machine gives him a very comfortable working environment thanks to a comfortable seat and a highly functional arrangement of control switches. 

There are plenty more examples in Poland where wheel loaders from CASE have played a crucial role. Showing that the range can be used to process smaller amounts of waste is an example from Razdów where the municipal waste management plant ZGOK Razdów processes about 35t/year. In 2022 it bought a CASE 921G wheel loader and a few months later the 1021G - largest CASE wheel loader - joined the fleet. 



‘Leibherr’s loaders needs less fuel, are powerful with hardly no downtime’

RGS Nordic, Denmark's leading recycling company, states that it relies on an array of Liebherr ‘XPower’ wheel loader to help recycle construction and demolition waste materials. It operates a fleet of around 130 construction machines, about two thirds of which have been supplied by the Liebherr Group. Among them are 40 XPower wheel loaders of various sizes. Every day, more than 1,000 truckloads of construction waste and other material arrive at RGS Nordic's facilities to be converted into reusable and circular products then reintegrated into the product cycle. 

Michael Jørgensen, strategic purchasing manager, commented: “The Liebherr wheel loaders need less fuel, are powerful and have hardly any downtime. We are particularly impressed that we achieve 30% more productivity with the same fuel consumption than with comparable wheel loaders in this size class.” Those advantages in fuel consumption also ensure lower CO2 emissions, meaning the machines align perfectly with RGS Nordic's core values. 

At one RGS Nordic site - Denmark's largest waste management site - recycling the delivered material is top priority. “We aim to make the circular economy a sustainable business,” added Jørgensen. The Liebherr wheel loaders play a key role in helping the company achieve that aim. On one hand, they transport the bulky waste pre-sorted by Liebherr excavators to the sorting plants, and on the other, feed the numerous crushing and screening plants with various construction wastes. At the end of the treatment process, the recycled material is reused on construction sites around Copenhagen.

RGS Nordic also returns the supplied, partly contaminated material to the product cycle through specialised processing operations, for example by adding substances such as calcium and by constantly shifting the piles of earth using the Liebherr wheel loaders. That function is important to ensure a reliable oxygen supply during composting. Once that operation is complete, the XPower machines load the recycled material on to trucks for RGS Nordic's customers to use as a natural raw material on a wide variety of construction sites.



New L95 compact wheel loader from Bobcat

Bobcat has introduced its new top of the range L95 compact wheel loader. The new L95 ‘Premium’ model is said to provide the same combination of high power, intuitive controls, operator comfort, ease of use and attachment flexibility found in the L75 and L85. In addition, the L95 incorporates the very latest product updates. The L95 is designed for a number of applications, including recycling and waste management. It can travel at up to 40km/h which increases the boundaries of the job site, without needing additional resources. Bobcat states that even inexperienced operators can get to work quickly on the L95 owing to the intuitive control scheme, Bobcat’s ‘Flex Drive’ with auto idle function, and a host of safety features such as ‘Automatic Parking Brake’ and ‘Slope Assist’. 

Bobcat states that the L95 is designed around the operator to provide high levels of comfort and safe and easy operation, with the cab offering full FOPS Level II operator protection and two steps to make it easy to get in and out of. The location of all the controls is designed to make the L95 easy and comfortable to operate even during long shifts. Controls for differential lock, turtle/rabbit mode, boom float and auxiliary flow control are all at the operator’s fingertips on the top of the joystick, meaning that all the machine’s vital information display and setup screens are easily managed.

The L95 is equipped as standard with a newly enhanced ‘Power Quick-Tach’ system which is compatible with widely used industry standard couplers. The system has been redesigned to simplify and further protect the hydraulic connections, particularly when exchanging attachments. In addition, there is the latest version of the ‘Bob-Tach’ adapter for installing approved Bobcat attachments.



New DX230WMH-7 & DX250WMH-7 material handlers from Develon 

Develon has launched the company’s new DX230WMH-7 (24t) and DX250WMH-7 (25.6t) Stage V compliant material handlers. Both are designed to carry out the toughest tasks across a wide range of material sorting and handling applications. As a result, both machines are built with front and rear stabilisers, and a boom and arm specifically designed for material handling tasks. The new material handlers are equipped with the latest generation Develon six cylinder, turbocharged DL06V water cooled diesel engine, providing an output (SAE J1995) of 141kW at 1,900rpm. Develon states that reducing environmental impact is paramount, so the engine has extremely low emissions as exhaust gases are purified by selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and a diesel particulate filter (DPF). 

A standard feature on the new machines is the hydraulic cab riser, which gives the operator better all-around visibility of the attachment and work area. When combined with the rear view camera display in the cab, the operator has excellent visibility of the job site. The new material handlers are designed to be easy to operate with ergonomic joysticks and a steering wheel. The machines come equipped with two way auxiliary and rotate circuit hydraulics to improve efficiency. The operator can use buttons on the joysticks or an optional foot pedal to control auxiliary attachments. A special Develon developed system, ‘Smart Power Control’ (SPC), is said to improve machine efficiency while maintaining productivity through variable speed control and pump torque control, automatically adjusting rpm according to the load being handled. 

The SPC can be used with all four work modes available on the Develon DX230WMH-7 and DX250WMH-7 material handlers. These power modes help the operator to manage the balance of fuel consumption and machine power to the working conditions. 



Although not loaders, worth of mentioning in this feature are two tracked crushers that are ideal for waste handling and material recycling. They both help sustainably recycle, producing the highest quality end products at the lowest costs.


Keestrack I4e reversible horizontal impact crusher

To reduce CO2 emissions, Keestrack says it has optimised machine efficiency to deliver higher output with less wear. Its new I4e has electric driven equipment with what the company claims are the most efficient and flexible electric and hybrid drive systems on the market. The I4e has been designed to secondary and tertiary crush with a high reduction ratio with a low energy consumption due to the drive system and design. The I4e also has a flexible electric drive system meaning it can be connected directly to the mains or be powered by a drop-off diesel/genset unit (generally in the case there is no access to the electricity grid). When connected to the grid, CO2 emissions depend on the power source. If the power is obtained from fully renewable energy, production is completely carbon neutral. When using the diesel/generator unit, fuel savings of 40% are said to be still achieved, compared to conventional diesel hydraulic crushers.

The backup diesel/genset unit can generate enough electricity to power multiple ‘e-driven’ machines. This means that twice the 75kW of power can be supplied via the plug out connection. When working in production trains, attributable fuel consumption is claimed to be able to decrease by 70% when hybrid scalpers and stackers are also directly powered via the diesel/genset. When connected to the grid, the savings are significant (depending on the local electricity price) because both operational costs and maintenance costs will drastically be reduced as no diesel engines are used. Also no oil is used at that time and no filters need to be replaced.

The drop-off diesel/genset unit can be placed on the chassis of the machine or besides the machine. If the unit is located approximately 20m away from the crusher, in a less dusty and vibrating environment, there is less wear and tear and it is easier to access for service and maintenance. This engine found on the I4e can be used on all new Keestrack electric e-drive crushers and can also be placed on a platform on tracks, the ‘M-series’. 



Omega’s dual power jaw crushes fuel costs

Last but not least is Omega Crushing and Screening’s plug in, dual power, electric drive jaw crusher which has proved to be a fuel efficient, practical and refined choice for a crushing and screening contractor from Tipperary, Ireland. Based in Cahir, Co. Tipperary, Quarry Kit Ltd provides contract crushing, screening and heavy haulage services across the province of Munster and further afield. Among the machines in the company’s fleet is an Omega J1065T tracked jaw crusher. Designed with both productivity and simplicity in mind, the J1065T has the distinction of using an electrically driven crusher unit, feeder and discharge conveyor as opposed to the more common hydraulic design. In addition, the crusher unit’s single drawback rod tensioning system, combined with hydraulic wedge adjustment, has been designed to make the jaw simple and reliable. While the machine comes equipped with a Stage V/Tier 4 compliant Deutz diesel powerpack, it can also be connected to the power grid and operate without producing any emissions on site.

The nature of the sites where Quarry Kit Ltd have been using the J1065T has meant that the diesel engine is often required for power. However, even while operating this way, impressive fuel economy has been achieved. Quarry Kit managing director Niall Lenihan explains, “It’s burning between 10l/h and 12l/h; compared to other machines I have which burn between 35l/h and 40l/h. A customer who is using a screener with a four cylinder engine has told me that the screener is using more fuel than the six cylinder engine in the Omega.” This fuel saving does not come at the cost of productivity, however. Niall praises the aggressiveness of the crusher and reports that the machine is capable of producing 100mm down at a rate of 240t/h. This figure is impressive considering that, according to Niall, other crushers he has operated in the same size class have only achieved figures closer to 180t/h. 

Omega’s principle of simplicity continues with the design of features such as the control panel, with Niall confirming that ease of use is a strength of the J1065T. “It’s a very easy machine to operate; it can be set up, moved, or folded up quickly, then you just press the buttons and away it goes,” he says. While crushers generally produce quite high levels of noise, Niall mentions that the Omega J1065T impresses in this area: “Compared to other machines, it is very quiet. The engine runs at lower revs, and you can actually talk to someone while standing beside it.” 

The J1065T’s 30,000kg weight makes transporting the machine easier, particularly useful when navigating narrow roads in rural areas. Indeed, it is possible to move the crusher using a three axle trailer, whereas a five axle unit is often required for heavier machinery. The machine’s relative compactness and low weight also mean that road permits will not be required when moving from one location to another.


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