• Susan

Engineering firm gears up waste management wake up in the UK

A leading UK engineering firm has its sights firmly set on transforming the nation’s approach to waste management in 2021.


And its stake in expanding its presence has been bolstered after it was revealed that a local authority in North West of England has bought into the innovative concept of underground waste systems.



The news creates a framework agreement that gives all publicly funded organisations access to acquire the unique waste solution.


The multi-disciplined adi Group, and its Waste Systems division, is the UK and Ireland distributor of innovative underground containers from European firm Sotkon.


Presenting a smart, sustainable and 21st century approach to waste management, the Sotkon containers aim to paint an altogether alternative sightlier landscape to the UK’s thousands of wheely bins up and down the country.


Operating with a smart data system, the bins, which come in sleek, multi-coloured designs, send municipal waste underground into large capacity containers, improving upon traditional domestic and street bin systems by eliminating unsightly overflows and overspilled waste.


For Mark Burgess, managing director of adi Waste Systems, the bins present a massive opportunity to transform a majorly outdated aspect of the UK’s sustainability focus: ‘It is simply astonishing that the UK hasn’t clocked onto the benefits of underground waste systems as yet.


‘We all know the picture, unsightly commercial wheely bins in city centres, overfilled with rubbish spilling out before collection day, this is a scenario that really shouldn’t be happening in today’s modern landscape.


‘When you go on holiday in Europe, I know I for one, am always impressed generally on how clean and aesthetically pleasing the city centre pavements are.


‘That is because popular destinations like Portugal, Spain and France have widely bought into and are utilising the underground concept, keeping city streets clean despite the thousands of tourists and residents that use them every summer.


‘It is high time the UK woke up to this and realised the smart benefits in going green with underground waste containers.’



Sotkon has already installed more than 36,000 of its large capacity 3 m³ and 5 m³ bins across Europe.


Utilising smart tags and fill sensors, the system can notify responding waste management organisations when they are full. Usage data can be captured at the point of collection and logistic systems communicated with to determine optimum routing, so that carbon footprint and emission reduction benefits are realised.


Comparing on a like for like basis with traditional bin collection and disposal systems, waste management companies spend reduced hours on the road. As such, without the need to be making multiple trips, local authorities can enjoy reduced operating costs including fuel usage, fleet reduction and other operating overheads by at least 25%.


In the UK, adi Waste Systems already has over 450 units installed or planned in the near future at the University of Cambridge.


And with underground systems set to be adopted and expanded more widely across the UK with its green and cost reducing concept, Mark heads into 2021 with a positive outlook: ‘What we are doing is highlighting how forward thinking city authorities, just like the pending ground breaking framework agreement in the North West, can really set a precedent across the UK for a positive and effective change on how to manage waste into the next decade,’ he added.


‘Local authorities, planners, architects and construction development organisations – these are the types of people that can plan cities of the future with these systems in mind, so that their sustainability initiatives are covered in all aspects, as well as looking at the more widely publicised concepts like electric vehicle charge points and the such like.’