Subscribe to News RSS

Eberhard Group boosts Zurich Landfill Operation with Trimble Connected Site Solution   

Subsidiary company DHZ uses 3D machine control, elevation cut/fill maps, two-way data transfer from VisionLink and Business Center-HCE from Trimble to monitor and document their landfill operation.

The Eberhard Group is an earthmoving pioneer and a Swiss leader in delivering technology applications to the construction industry. Founded in 1954 and with 11 locations across Switzerland and southern Germany, the Eberhard group offers its extensive experience and expertise in infrastructure development, environmental remediation, recycling and bioremediation. The Eberhard Group also owns a gravel and stone operation and several landfills. Subsidiary company DHZ (Deponie Häuli Lufingen Zürich) planned, built and now operates the large "Häuli" landfill in Lufingen. Stefan Eberhard is CEO of the DHZ Company.


In 2010, DHZ started the construction of a very large landfill project in Lufingen, a small village near Zurich. The 30 ha large landfill site is designed to run for a period 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 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 and restrictions, those materials have to be excavated and treated. The Eberhard Group uses the most advanced technology for clean-up and securing the separation and treatment of such materials.

"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% of the construction and demolition waste (C&D) goes back into the market. The separation plant Supersort ® in Lufingen is able to 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 maintain and manage a landfill is another challenge.

"We were looking for a consistent process of monitoring, analyzing and documenting how the Häuli landfill and the Supersort® recycling operations are running," said Stefan Eberhard. "For a private owner of a project of this scope, it is imperative that we can minimize 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 went to SITECH Schweiz AG, the regional Trimble distributor for construction technology. Together they adopted a bold operation plan fortified by the 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. Stefan Eberhard felt that Trimble Construction Manager made it easier to perform effective fleet management with the ability to manage construction operations and take action quickly. The software from Trimble helped to drive equipment productivity with optimized 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 the operation details, such as the location of the different batches of material distributed across the landfill zones, as well as their compaction information. The position of the machine as well as the number of passes and the pass height are 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," says Stefan Eberhard.

The DHZ team is using 3D machine control and compaction system to continually compact the waste. This can be tricky, because different materials require a different number of minimum "passes" to reach the required compaction level. On a screen in the cab, the operator can see color changes from green into 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 the Connected Community and VisionLink. The current and past situations can be visualized. The recorded data from the track loader and the soil compactor are merged. Production data can be mapped and analyzed in 3D. VisionLink allows the use of filters, interpret and measure results. Useful individual views and reports, such as inbuilt volumes, layer thickness, achieved compaction can be created, to be able to look in details at a special location, at a given point or period of time.


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 that they are moving approximately 7000 cubic-meters of waste per month. This is very important to be able to strategize and plan for utilizing remaining volumes. With the ability to precisely analyze the operation, Stefan Eberhard can also accurately determine when he'll need to expand the operation and start construction of a new landfill.

Stefan Eberhard believes that Trimble's material quantities tools and 3D visualization capabilities from Business Center-HCE are invaluable for monitoring and managing landfill operations. Although it is challenging to quantify ROI achieved yet, Stefan Eberhard estimates that Trimble helped to produce approximately 5-10% volume savings, which translates into 5-10% 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, Stefan Eberhard believes that Trimble gives his team the opportunity to set a standard for private landfill operation and documentation processes. He plans to use this combination of Trimble Connected Community solutions again for future landfill operations.

"For the operation it is a very good system," says Stefan Eberhard. "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 exactly know where and how deep that material is buried.

© Copyright 2010 Trimble Navigation Limited. Terms of Use