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Iranian Journal of Environmental Health, Science and Engineering
Iranian Association of Environmental Health (IAEH)
ISSN: p-ISSN: 1735-1979
Vol. 2, Num. 4, 2005, pp. 267-272

Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2005, pp. 267-272


*1A. Jalilzadeh and 2A. Parvaresh

1Environmental Engineering Department, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
2 Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, , Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

*Corresponding author: Tel: +98 461 2232169, Email:

Received 16 October 2004;
revised 6 March 2005;
accepted 13 June 2005

Code Number: se05039


Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a serious environmental hazard and social problem in Iran. Currently a high volume of solid waste is generated every day in the district towns of Iran and unfortunately solid waste management is being deteriorated due to the limited resources to handle the increasing rate of generated waste. Due to this fact that more than 60% of solid waste management cost is usually alocated for purpose collection and transportation of generated solid waste in the city. Analysis of this section and understanding of its effect on the management system could have a great role in reduction the costs and solving many of exist problems. This study illustrate the effectiveness of timing managing an MSW economy and that has been carried out as a case study in Urmia. Results of this research illustrsate that 58.3% in Neisan, 68.7% in Khavar, 61.5% in Benz, 81.3% in Compactor and 59.3% in FAUN 0f each cycle time is pickup time. Mean of traveling speed for Van, Mini-truck, Truck, FAUN and Compactor was 35,46,41,38 and 42 kilometer per hour respectively. Total spent time for collection and transportation of solid waste were 1:21 hour with Van, 1:23 hour with Mini-truck, 1:29 hour with Truck, 17 minutes with FAUN and 57 minutes with Compactor. Result of this study illustrated Van is the most economic vehicle for solid waste collection system in Urmia city. Generally, priority to usage of solid waste collection vehicles illustrate in below: Truck < Mini-truck < Compactor < Van < FAUN

Key words: Municipal, solid waste, transportation, collection, timing components


Urmia City "west Azarbayjan province" is located in the west north of Iran and its area is 74 km2 (Arseh Co., 2001 and Moshrefi, 1993). Its latitude is 37º 32´ and 45º 5´ E and its altitude is about 1330 meters above free seas level (Arseh Co., 2001 and Moshrefi, 1993). Urmia population is equal to 550,000 capita. This city is divided to 4 districts and 6 sub districts (Fasih, 1998 and Ghanbari, 2003). Solid waste collection costs depend on various parameters such as: recycling rate, collection scheme, time consumed for collection and transportation to landfill site. It is determined that the average collection cost per ton of collection waste equal to 114-120 $. (Miller,1993). Identifying efficient collection time will help engineers minimize program costs and introduce the best collection method.

Everett W. and Maratha S. were investigated about pickup time in Village city in U.S.A on 1998 (Everett, 1998).

Five types of vehicles include Vans, Trucks, Mini trucks ,compactors and FAUN is used in solid waste collection system of Urmia. All vehicles except Van haule collected solid waste to landfill that is place in 17 km north of city. Vans haule collected solid waste to transfer staion that is place approximately in 8 km south of city; Urmia has just one lanfill and one transfer station. Unfortunately some of them are not suitable for solid waste collection and based on economic and health reasons its application isn't acceptable.

The objectives of this research are to:

  • Determination of timing component for each type of vehicles.
  • Comparison of timing and economic component for each type of vehicles.
  • Selection the most suitable vehicles.
  • Create a logical relation between the traveling time per collection service and distance between collection zone and landfill site by using a mathematical model.


Data were collected by observing and calculation the collection of solid waste in Urmia during 3 months in May to July 2005. These months approximately have a equal solid waste generation coafficient with annual average in Urmia (Table 1), therefore they select for this research.

The spent time per component of collection operation measured by two chronometer. Number of repetitions determined according to Fig.1.

Minimum time to pickup and discharge a waste package into Truck is 0.5 minutes. According to Fig.1 minimum number of repetition for this component is equal to 60. Also, average transportation time by trucks is equal to 30 minutes (EPA, 1995). Therefore minimum number of repetition for determination the transportation time by each vehicle is equal to 10. To create a logical relation between the traveling time per each collection service and distance between collection zone and landfill site, a mathematical model was used. According to this model the duration of each traveling can be estimated as: (Abdoli, 1992 and Tchobanoglous, 1993). Y= A+BX Where: y = duration time of each traveling for service, x = distance between landfill site and collection zone (for all vehicles except Vans), for Vans x= distance between transfer station and collection zone, A, B = empirical coefficients.

These relations correlated by using excel software for various collection vehicles in Urmia.


Table 2 illustrates the results of total collection time for each vehicles to studied regions in Urmia. These results indicate that pickup time per each ton solid waste with FAUN is maximum and equal to 11 minutes. The ratio of pick-up time to total time of collection for Van, Mini truck, Truck, compactor and FAUN is respectively 3.58%, 7.68%, 5.61%, 3.81% and 3.59%. It is observed that the Van has the least ratio and the compactor has the highest ratio. Theorically, its efficiency must be higher than other vehicles, but the total time of collection per each ton of solid wastes for this type of vehicles is more than other, and equal to 57 minutes.

The mean total hauled time per each ton for hauled wastes per trip for Van, Mini truck, Truck, compactor and FAUN is respectively 27, 22, 9 and 6 minutes. Therefore the total hauled time of Truck and Van is more than others. This parameter for compactor is the least. The main reason of this high time for Truck is its incompatibility for solid waste collection and doesn't use the total vehicle capacity.

Based on measurements during this research, only 50% of Truck nominal capacity (approximately 2.5-3 tons) has been used for solid waste collection. This reason for Van comes back its small container with low volume and long distance between collection region and transfer station (approximately 8 km.).

The most time required for discharging each tons of solid waste by Van is equal to 4 minutes and the least of them is related to compactor that equal to 49 seconds per tons hauled solid wastes. The effective reasons of being high of discharging time for Van can be interpreted as follow:

  • low volume of Van container
  • Because of requirement to manual fasten and opening the container cover.


The timing comparison of Solid waste collection in Urmia per each ton of Solid wastes and total time of each collection cycle for various vehicles demonstrate in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3. This is resulted that the FAUN has the least time in collection and transportation solid wastes. Therefore this vehicle is the most economic vehicle in Solid waste management. Also the Truck need the most time for collection and transportation of Solid wastes per each ton and it is a non-economic vehicle. The reasons of this trend can be interpreted as follow:

  • The internal time between pickups is high that results the dimension of vehicle container be large.
  • Low number of temporary stations because using of stationary containers.
  • high volume container of vehicle

Reasons of increasing pickup time per each ton of Solid waste for Truck in comparison with other vehicles can be interpreted as follow:

  • This vehicle in not suitable for curbside collection method
  • This vehicle in not suitable for passing of narrow and dead-end streets
  • The vehicle doesn't have any compactor devices.

The hauled time for various vehicles in Urmia collection system is illustrated in table 3. The Mini truck has the most speed and Van is slowest vehicle. The main reason is that the Van most passes though crowded streets and faces with traffic.

Solid waste collection operation starts at morning therefore the Vans must pass through crowded streets for hauling the waste to transfer station and face with the morning traffic. Therefore the Vans speed become slow. However, for following reasons, transfer station don't need for this system:

  • Transfer station is place on south of city, however landfill is place on north.
  • Distance of landfill of city in not high to select a transfer atation for solid waste collection; therfore using of transfer station in this system is not economic.

The results of mathematical correlation of vehicles hauling speed between landfill site and transfer station demonstarted in Fig. 4 and Table 4. There is observed a logical relation between the hauling time per each tripe and crossed distance from collection zone to landfill site. The slope of all curve's for vehicles except Truck and Mini-truck is positive that this factor affect directly on this vehicles amortization.

The results of this research can be summarized as follows:

  • The collection and disposal of Urmia Solid waste is operated with a traditional management system, therefore it is essential to assessment on systematic management system based on scientific principals.
  • There is no compatibility between vehicles, containers and physical structure of city that was affect on collection operations efficiency.
  • There is no compliance between number and type of vehicles with curbside method.
  • The well designed operational plans are essential and must be closely followed to ensure an efficient and environmentally sound operation.


The authors are greatly indebted to recycle and recovery organization of Urmia especially Eng. Mortaz, for their honestly corporation during this research.


  • Abdoli M.,(1992) "municipal solid waste management", vol. 1, recycle and recovery organization of Tehran.
  • Arseh consulting engineers,(2001) "Urmia master plant", recycle and recovery organization of Urmia.
  • Corbitt.R.A, (1990). "Standard Handbook of Environmental engineering", McGraw-Hill Inc , 216.
  • EPA, (1995) "Decision markers guide to solid waste management", USEPA 530-R-95-023,Vol. II, 4-22.
  • Everett, W. and Maratha, S., (1998). "Curbside collection of recyclable I: Route time estimation model", Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 177-192.
  • Fasih, M., (1998). "assessment of economic problem of municipal solid waste of Urmia", Management and Programming Organization, issue. 108, 2.
  • Ghanbari, R., (2003). "Economic evaluation of recovery of Solid waste and its recycled energy in Urmia", Management and Programming Organization,1.34-70
  • Miller, C., (1993). "The cost of recycling at the curb", National Solid Waste Management Association, Washington, DC,.
  • Moshrefi, M., (1993). "Rural development politics and its effects on Iran agricultural structure", management and programming organization, 48.
  • Tchobanoglous, G., (1993). "Integrated Solid Waste Management", McGraw-Hill, New York.

© 2005 Tehran University of Medical Sciences Publications

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