Current Issue

Current Issue

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New Sogama composting plant in Areosa (Cerceda – A Coruña)


  • Waste transfer station in Efkarpia (Greece).
  • Sertego País Vasco inaugurates industrial plastics building and recycling line.
  • Dominican Republic’s first large-scale ELT shredding plant.


  • Stationary & Mobile primary shredders.
  • Eddy Current separators.
  • Magnetic separators.
  • Optical Sorters.
  • Double-deck or elastic mesh flip-flop screens.


  • Used tyre recycling a source of high-quality resources.
  • Energy recovery from unrecyclable waste – green jobs opportunity in Spain.
  • Nappies waste converted into high value materials and products.


  • LIFE Zero Cabin Waste – Sustainable management of airline catering waste.
  • LitterDrone Project: Litter monitoring on beaches using drones.
  • eLitter, Spanish methodology to analyse littering in terrestrial natural environments.
  • The European LIFE STO3RE enters its final stage with the aim of moving closer to “zero waste”.


  • Identification of interactions between climate change and air quality in a southern European urban environment.

MARCH 2018

Cover Story


Urbaser is a world leader in environmental management. This global company places the emphasis on sustainability and provides services to over 50 million people in 24 countries through an enormous network of more than 40,000 employees and over 160 subsidiaries.


Being a global leader in environmental management means having a clear commitment and a great sense of responsibility in order to work on a daily basis to improve our environment. And environmental enhancement is incomprehensible without innovation.

At the cutting edge of innovation applied to waste treatment and municipal services management

Urbaser is committed to enhancing our environment through the research, development and innovation that exists in all areas of the company. In 2016, Urbaser invested 7.7 million euro in R&D&i projects, with the main objective of finding new ways to convert waste into resources.

This objective is in line with the concept of the “Circular Economy”, which aspires to avail of 100% of reject and byproducts in order to achieve “zero waste to landfill”. For this purpose, Urbaser strives to implement the results of the company’s innovation projects at its waste treatment plants and in the provision of the different municipal services it supplies.

The company is an active participant in the different global pacts and agreements associated with this process.

Innovating in the waste management cycle means innovating in the processes themselves, digitising the provision of services and production processes, and implementing technological monitoring and knowledge management tools.

The Alfonso Maíllo Technology Innovation Centre (CIAM) in Zaragoza is a unique facility in Europe with respect to research into waste management. The centre enables reproduction of all critical waste treatment stages on a pilot scale, so that all the different stages of a research project can be undertaken in great depth, from the very beginning through to final implementation on an industrial scale.

The research lines being worked on at the CIAM include obtaining gasoil from plastics waste and biogas from organic waste. Urbaser has patented the only organic waste digester of its kind in the world, which enables an anaerobic digestion process to convert organic waste into biogas. Urbaser innovates and does so by researching and developing solutions that are implemented in the provision of all the services the company offers.

In 2015, the company entered into an agreement with the University of Zaragoza to create the “Urbaser Chair of Innovative Technologies”. This agreement seeks to foster and encourage research and development initiatives associated with new technologies in the areas of waste management and urban sustainability.

UrbaElectric, a success story arising from Urbaser’s research work

The UrbaElectric is 100% electric and is used for the automated selective collection of municipal waste. It enables municipal solid waste to be collected with zero CO2 emissions and it is already operating in the city of Barcelona in a testing stage. It is the world’s first 100% electric heavy duty truck and, as such, received the AEDIVE Santiago Losada 2017 award for innovation last October.

UrbaElectric is simply further evidence of Urbaser’s commitment to contributing to the sustainability of our cities. The vehicle offers exactly the same features as heavy duty trucks driven by traditional fuels used for automated waste collection from urban containers but with a lower environmental impact.

Each truck results in a reduction in CO2 emissions of 96 tonnes per annum, compared to diesel-driven truck of similar characteristics.

The vehicle is an excellent example of how innovation applied to waste collection and management can optimise processes and services, whilst having a positive effect on the environment.