The Municipality of Funchal, the capital of Portugal’s Autonomous Region of Madeira, a city of almost 106,000 people, has recently took an initiative to install underground collection systems in several areas of the island.
The installation of the ‘’Ecological Islands’’ reflects a solution found by the council to increase waste deposit capacity, enable and increase the recycling rate, reduce environmental pollution and requalify urban spaces through less occupation of public roads.
This solution consists of underground containers installed as ‘islands’ in pavements of public roads, with each island comprising three types of containers, for paper, packaging and glass. Each container is equipped with filling level probes and ultrasonic measurement technology, sending data to a central system, which allows the filling level to be measured in real time and to determine the day and time of collection.
Currently, Funchal has six fully functioning ‘Ecological Islands’, dispersed throughout the Lido, Avenida Arriaga, Largo Jaime Moniz, Almirante Reis and the historical center of the city, with the next twelve islands expected to be installed at Bairo de Nazaré.
For the collection of these underground containers at the City of Funchal-through our local partner for Portugal, SIMOPECAS AS- we designed and manufactured ten special CRV 2000 Standard® refuse collection vehicles of 16m3 fitted on VOLVO FE chassis. This special refuse collection mechanism is fitted with a foldable –hydraulic operated- chute, which allows the collection of conventional containers (when the chute is folded), and also the collection of underground containers in combination with a roof-mounted crane system (when the chute is unfolded). This solution allows the RCVs to be used for the collection of several waste fractions leading to a more versatile and for this reason economic RCVs fleet. The new RCVs are also fitted with bins weighing and RFID system, collecting data for the containers to the central monitoring system.