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Development and assessment of rail-based disposal chains for rural areas

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Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects,
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Freight transport



The aim of the research project “Development and assessment of rail-based disposal chains for rural areas, EBEK” is the development of a concept for a rail transport-based disposal chain for urban waste of the example region "Alb-Donau", which uses the regional infrastructure for waste processing and recycling. The aim is to achieve the lowest possible environmental impact under consideration of the necessary waste transports and taking commercial requirements into account. A further component of the project is the investigation of existing and future e-business trading platforms specifically for the trade of waste and recyclable materials.

The investigation is designed to identify synergies with other logistics systems and to identify ways to improve the use of logistical infrastructure and to achieve an improvement over the current situation, taking into account environmental goals and operational requirements.


The example region "Alb-Donau" is formed by the six Baden-Württemberg regions Biberach, Reutlingen, Sigmaringen, Tübingen, Tuttlingen and Zollernalbkreis.

The starting point for the investigation is provided by the Technical Instructions for the Settlement of Waste (TASI, 1993). As a consequence, since 2005 no more wastes with a loss on ignition of more than five percent may be deposited. This means, in the current state of the art, that the waste must be thermally pretreated. Since the sample region itself does not have its own facilities for this, the necessary traffic volume in waste disposal will rise sharply in 2005.

As a basis for the determination of cooperation potentials and for the later dimensioning of the demonstrators, it is necessary to have a detailed knowledge of the waste volumes in the example region "Alb-Donau". For this purpose, the structure of waste disposal is examined in a first step. This includes the identification of the different waste management companies operating in the example region and their contractual basis. This is followed by a description of today's waste collection, which is carried out for the different districts for the residual and bulky waste at different waste disposal sites. An investigation of the cost structures and an outlook on the future development of waste disposal in the example region round off the analysis of waste disposal in the example region.

Based on this analysis, a description of possible cooperation areas and cooperation partners within the example region will be given.

Taking into account the identified possibilities for cooperation, two demonstrators are defined as working hypotheses:

  • Demonstrator 1 describes a joint transport of household waste, bulky waste and publicly collected commercial waste from the counties of Zollernalbkreis, Tübingen and Reutlingen to the waste incineration plant to Stuttgart-Münster. In doing so, the transport chain “truck transport – rail transport – truck transport” is examined.
  • The demonstrator 2 considers the railway transport of household waste, bulky waste and publicly collected commercial waste from the counties of Tuttlingen and Sigmaringen to the waste incineration plant TAD Ulm. Here too, the transport chain “truck transport – rail transport – truck transport” is examined.


Other Programme
Logistics and transport chains
Funding Source
Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF


The cost and impact studies of the combined transport chains are carried out in comparison to the alternative of pure road transport. It turns out that rail transport is generally more environmentally friendly, but are associated with higher costs than road transport. An exception is the Tuttlingen district, where the emissions of CO2 during rail transport are slightly higher than in road transport due to unfavourable load factors.

In parallel to the development of the demonstrators, potentials for the optimization of vehicle, container and transshipment techniques, the improvement of the use of e-business as well as the integration of the EBEC transport chain into the general freight logistics were investigated. Among other things, a multifunctional waste container was developed which meets all requirements of the EBEK disposal and logistics chain. An e-business platform could help to increase the utilization of transport capacities and thus lead to cost reductions. To this end, the establishment of an operator company is proposed.

Findings of the study are published in detail by a final report (German only) which is available online via[searchspace]=tn


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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