Within the world of waste collection, transportation and disposal, compaction is an important area to consider. The ability to turn larger quantities of waste into smaller, more manageable parcels is highly valuable in this field, both for reducing space used and limiting the number of pickups required.
At Enviro Care, we’re happy to provide waste management and disposal services using a variety of disposal sites around Utah. One item that’s helpful in terms of recyclables is known as a baler, a machine that uses a ram to compress recyclable materials into much smaller bales. Here’s everything you need to know about balers, including whether your facility could benefit from installing one.
Baler Basics and Types
Baler machines can handle a wide range of recyclables, from paper and packaging material up to aluminum scrap in many cases. Not only will they limit the number of pickups you require, they’ll also allow you to often sell bales of recyclables and offset your waste disposal costs.
There are two basic types of baler machines:
- Vertical balers: Often smaller than a home refrigerator, but ranging up to larger sizes, vertical balers are generally for smaller loads. They’re often used in manufacturing and retail areas, plus hospitals or other similar sites. They produce small bales that are generally easily handled by workers.
- Horizontal balers: Horizontal balers are larger and generally the item of choice for industrial or manufacturing areas that require large loads. They can even be retrofitted with conveyor belts, custom hoppers and other items that will help with efficiency. The largest horizontal balers can handle up to thousands of pounds per hour.
Factors in Obtaining a Baler
A few factors to consider if you’re deciding whether or not to purchase a baler for your facility include:
- Waste volume: Conduct a waste audit to determine your overall waste stream, including the level of recyclables you’re going through, and whether a baler will benefit you in this area.
- Recyclable types: The types of items you’re regularly recycling will also play a big role in your choice.
- Market and business forecast: In many cases, plant or facility managers purchase balers in anticipation of growing recycling needs. Some choose to first rent a baler for a few months to see how it impacts their waste streams and efficiency, a good middle ground if you aren’t quite sure.
- Maintenance and repair needs: Like other large-scale industrial machines, balers will require basic maintenance and upkeep. Ensure you have staff qualified for this, or if you’re renting, be sure the company provides the machine also handles this area.
- Cost: And of course, you’ll have to assess the financial results of purchasing a baler – will the cost you pay for it be justified within a reasonable period of time, or could you be spending money you won’t recoup?
For more on balers and how they impact waste and recycling streams, or to learn about any of our hazardous waste disposal or waste management services, speak to the staff at Enviro Care today.