Urban mining’: A landfill project’s site solution

The Eberhard Group is an earthmoving firm delivering technology applications to the Swiss construction industry. Founded in 1954 and with 11 locations across Switzerland and southern Germany, Eberhard offers expertise in infrastructure development, environmental remediation, recycling and bioremediation. It also owns a gravel and stone operation and several landfills. Its subsidiary Deponie Häuli Lufingen Zürich (DHZ) planned, built and operates the “Häuli” landfill in Lufingen, a village near Zurich.

In 2010 DHZ started the construction of the “Häuli” landfill project. The 30ha site is designed for a duration of 40 years. It will accept different qualities of materials and waste, brought in from previous industries or construction sites. For example, a chemical factory operating in the early years of the last century disposed of most of its discarded materials at the factory site. Over time, the waste has permeated into the ground and is contaminating the ground water. According to today’s laws, those materials have to be excavated and treated. The Eberhard Group uses advanced technology for clean-up and separating and treating such materials.

Urban mining

“Urban mining” is the way to go for demolition and environmental remediation. To preserve natural resources, the goal is to recycle as much as possible. For example 75 per cent of the construction and demolition (C&D) waste goes back into the market. The Supersort separation plant in Lufingen can effectively sort out ferrous and non-ferrous metals from bottom ash and other mineral waste. Any material that is beyond recycling, washing or sorting will go into a landfill.

Following the “urban mining” concept is one thing, properly maintaining and managing a landfill is another challenge.

“We were looking for a consistent process of monitoring, analysing and documenting how the Häuli landfill and the Supersort operations are running,” said DHZ CEO Stefan Eberhard. “For a private owner of a project of this scope, it is imperative that we can minimise risks and liabilities by implementing proactive controls and show that we have documented processes for managing stocked materials.

“With an established framework in place we can facilitate quicker approvals, demonstrate validated procedures for locating specific material and monitor a safe and long-term operation.”

To meet its goals for staying ahead of regulators and competitors, the Eberhard Group approached SITECH Schweiz AG, the regional Trimble distributor for construction technology. Together they adopted a bold operation plan fortified by Trimble Connected Site Solutions. During construction of the landfill, DHZ used Trimble Construction Manager. It provides an intuitive interface that connects assets in the field to decision-makers in the office.

{{quote-A:R-W:175-I:2-Q:"By assigning batch numbers to the site entry, trucks can unload the material in a defined area or easily navigate to a special location or retrieve the correct place of a certain batch"-WHO:Stefan Eberhard, CEO at DHZ}}Eberhard felt that Trimble Construction Manager made it easier to perform effective fleet management with the ability to manage construction operations and act quickly. The software from Trimble helped to drive equipment productivity with optimised dispatching, productivity management, monitoring of load cycles and cycle times, showing of cut and fill volumes and average load capacities?– all in real time.

For the landfill operation a track loader and a soil compactor were equipped with a Trimble GCS900 Single GNSS roof mounting system. It allows the driver to record operation details, such as the location of the different batches of material distributed across the landfill zones, and their compaction information. The position of the machine, as well as the number of passes and the pass height, is permanently recorded in the background.

“By assigning batch numbers to the site entry, trucks can unload the material in a defined area or easily navigate to a special location or retrieve the correct place of a certain batch,” Eberhard said.

The DHZ team is using a 3D machine control and compaction system to continually compact the waste. This can be tricky because different materials require a minimum number of “passes” to reach the required compaction level. On a screen in the cab, the operator can see colour changes from green to red after each pass, until the target compaction level is achieved.

The machine control system permanently communicates recorded activities over wi-fi and internet to Trimble’s Connected Community and VisionLink packages. The current and past situations can be visualised. The recorded data from the track loader and the soil compactor are merged. Production data can be mapped and analysed in 3D. VisionLink allows the use of filters to interpret and measure results. Useful individual views and reports, such as in-built volumes, layer thickness and achieved compaction can be created to examine details at a special location at a given point or period of time.

Cut and fill data

Using VisionLink, the DHZ crew can also see the elevation status of the new ramp under construction. With elevation and cut and fill maps users can create a near real-time 3D surface model or profile to view the progress and to show the status towards completion.

With cut and fill information they can also calculate how much material has been accumulated in a specified timeframe. On average, the team has determined they are moving about 7000m3 of waste per month. This is very important to be able to strategise and plan for utilising remaining volumes. With the ability to precisely analyse the operation, Eberhard can also accurately determine when he will need to expand the operation and start construction of a new landfill.

Eberhard said Trimble’s material quantities tools and 3D visualisation capabilities from its Business Center-HCE are invaluable for monitoring and managing landfill operations. Although it is challenging to quantify the run of investment achieved, Eberhard has estimated Trimble helped to produce between five and 10 per cent volume savings, which translates into five to 10 per cent operational cost savings. In short, by using less landfill area, the team can process and treat more material in the same amount of space.

Even beyond these savings, Eberhard believes Trimble enables his team to set a standard for private landfill operation and documentation processes. He plans to use Trimble Connected Community solutions again for future landfill operations.

“For the operation it is a very good system,” Eberhard said. “We can honestly state that we are setting a standard and don’t get behind with monitoring the progress. And if somebody comes back, let’s say in five years from now and wants to remove a particular material because of contamination, we don’t have to dig up the whole landfill because we know exactly where and how deep that material is buried.”

Trimble offers mining, aggregates, weighing and construction logistics through approved distributors in Australia and New Zealand.

Source: Trimble

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