SELECTIVE - SELECTIVE - New methods of selective collection and transport of solid waste, supported by advanced modelling for comparative evaluation of system cost-effectiveness.

LIFE97 ENV/B/000413

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Contact details:

Project Manager: E. ING. DEGEYTER

Project description:


Throughout the world, the problem of excessive and uncontrolled waste is one of the main priorities facing local government. Current solutions focus on the need to reduce waste at source, efficient and environmentally-friendly collection and disposal and above all, on recycling. The separate collection of waste, allowing efficient recycling of the materials is one of the most effective tools to achieve overall waste reduction. It also reduces the transportation requirements on waste collection vehicles, that carry waste from collection sports to disposal units or incineration plants, leading to an important reduction in emissions. However the state of the art at European level, does not currently offer a cost-effective solution to this problem. The current project, therefore, proposes to deliver such a cost-effective solution for separate waste collection management and waste transportation


The main objective of the project was the implementation and evaluation of a new cost-effective solution to selective domestic waste collection and transport that would lead to a 40% reduction in costs and enable a totally integrated collection system that would fit in with the new CEN and EC directives. The new system would be based on stationary containers, automatic side-loading compactor vehicles with unloadable bodies and would include several key elements: the collection of domestic waste in a local area, the transhipments in Change Over Points (COP’s) and the transfer to final depot by means of separate transport vehicles. The new system would be fully integrated with the normal service of urban solid waste collection and would permit the automatic single-operator collection. The project would be carried out through three pilot demonstrations: 1 representing a medium size European city (Antwerp) and the other two a mountainside and a rural region (In the province of Brescia and Montova). It would be developed through three phases: 1) Construction of a mathematical model based on the end-users priorities for a selective waste system, which would provide the basis for the cost-effectiveness evaluation. 2) Design and construction of the necessary hardware: containers, collection , cleaning and transportation vehicles. 3) Testing and evaluation of the system in 3 differentiated sites in an urban, rural and mountain context The expected benefits were to deliver a selective system which would be both effective and cost-effective, providing a strategic solution which can be adapted to the different needs of local authorities throughout Europe


The innovatory collection system was successfully developed, tested, and demonstrated by the project. The system designed consisted of the collection of domestic waste in a local area, transhipments in Change Over Points (COP’s) and the transfer to final depot by means of separate transport vehicles. In the first stage the partners analysed the needs, expectations and targets of the different partner situations. The simultation model designed gave insight on how to conceive the most optimal collection, transfer configuration and allowed for the prediction of exploitation costs. In the second phase, the technical details were finalised and the commercial development fine-tuned by the industrial partners. A software application was also delivered which enabled the minimization of the costs for the system. In the third phase the system was tested in the 3 sites. In Antwerp, the new elements introduced were the Change Over Points (COP’s) and the need to dispose waste in collective containers. In a 2nd case, waste fractions were collected targeting multi-store inhabitants, requiring the signing of contracts with the building committees. In the Italian pilot study area, the new elements introduced were demountable bodies as well as the COP’s.Training was carried out for the operators and extensive dissemination activities carried out. The main innovative features of the system were the use of demountable bodies and the high degree of automation, requiring only one person to operate the system. These elements considerably supported the overall sustainabilility of the system. Although the initial investment on the new system was quite high, the working costs were less than for conventional collection systems, given that one person was sufficient to operate it, whilst the software system also enabled a minimisation of costs. A key element of cost saving was in the drastic reduction in disposal costs implied by effective differentiation. Economic savings were confirmed to be around 40%, according to the economic evaluation derived from the mathematical simulation model, although this evidence remains to be confirmed completely through the pilot projects. The system’s feasibility was confirmed by the maintenance and extension of the activities beyond the scope of the project itself, such as in Brescia, where the system has now been fully implemented. The main environmental benefits came as a result of the improved logistics from the creation of changeover points for the demountable bodies, resulting in important savings on fuel consumption and air pollution (28% according to the mathematical model). As the improved cost-effectiveness of the system is also likely to provide a strong incentive for introducing selective waste systems at Municipal level, the project should help to reduce the negative impact from solid waste disposal. . In a follow-up interview carried out in 2005 by the LIFE external monitoring team, the beneficiary reported that the system is still operational and continues to provide “great satisfaction”.


Environmental issues addressed:


Waste - Municipal waste (including household and commercial)


domestic waste‚  energy saving‚  separated collection‚  air pollution‚  solid waste‚  comparison

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • COM(1996)399 - Communication on an updated "Community strategy for waste management" (30.07.1996) ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Municipaliteit van Antwerpen
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The beneficiary is the Antwerp Town Council. Antwerp is situated on the River Schelde, approximately 88 kms from the North Sea. The Schelde together with the Meuse and the Rhine form the largest Estuary in Western Europe and makes Antwerp, with its enormous complex of port installations, one of the biggest ports in the world. Antwerp lies in the Flemish part of Belgium and is considered as the unofficial capital of Flanders.
Partners Municipality of Brescia, Italy, . Economic Faculty of the University of Brescia OMB Breseic and WAF, leading companies in waste management equipment ID&A Srl, experts in waste management systems


Project reference LIFE97 ENV/B/000413
Duration 01-APR-1997 to 01-AUG -2000
Total budget 3,183,682.31 €
EU contribution 852,075.19 €
Project location Vlaams Gewest(België - Belgique)


Read more:

Brochure Title: Summary: New Method of Selective Collection and Transport of solid waste. Author: Antwerp Local Authority Year: 2002
Publication Title: Final Report Author: Antwerp Local Authority Year: 2001


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version