The Right Equipment
For The Right Job

Most companies are becoming aware of 3 important things.

  1. There’s a corporate responsibility to reuse as much of the waste stream as possible to help limit the organization’s environmental impact.
  2. Trash hauling bills are increasing all the time. All the trash that can be diverted out of a typical waste stream will help.  The fewer times a company’s trash needs to be hauled the more it shrinks their trash bill.
  3. A significant portion of the waste a company has (cardboard, metals, plastics, etc.) is made up of commodities that still hold value. In most cases someone is willing to pay for these.


When a company reaches out to Direct, they usually need help finding the right equipment to begin business recycling efforts.   As a result, Direct employees are trained to go through the same questions on each call.  Firstly, what kind of waste is in the customer’s waste stream?  Secondly, what percentage of that waste is recyclable?  Last, how often is the waste being picked up now?  These questions lead to the right equipment in most cases.  Likely those companies need a separate recycling hauler from their current waste hauler for these materials.


The most common piece of recycling equipment is a 6030 vertical baler.  These produce what are called “mill sized bales” which is an industry term referring to the most valuable size of packaging for cardboard and plastic.  This means that a recycling hauler doesn’t have to repackage the cardboard or plastic before reselling it to the mills.  This also means that customers will get the highest payout for these commodities if they are packaged this way.  The bales that a vertical baler makes can be stored in a convenient place and are stackable.  In some cases, with customized machines, aluminum cans can be used in a vertical baler as well.


When using a vertical baler, cardboard boxes need to be broken down if they are above a certain size.  If only a small percentage of boxes exceed the opening size on the vertical baler then that’s no problem.  If several bales are made every day, the number of employee hours could exceed any rebates or savings when compared over a year’s time.  In a situation like this, the next step, in terms of equipment, would be to implement a traditional compactor.  The typical installation for this would be off a dock with a walk on deck.  This will allow the team to throw boxes into the compactor without breaking them down in most cases.  A recycling hauler may pay a little less for hauling a 40 yd receiver box, as opposed to mill sized bales, because they must repackage the recyclables but the cost savings in employee hours can make up for any difference.


If the volumes of cardboard are high because of an automated conveyor system or cart dumper setup, then an augur solution would be the next best option.  Footprint wise, these machines are basically the same size as a traditional trash compactor.   They also have a receiver box attached.  However, instead of a ram head pushing the waste product into the receiver box there is a giant screw turning which constantly breaks down product and distributes it into the receiver.  Augurs can constantly run, and they work much more quickly than a traditional compactor.  The price is higher, but the throughput is a huge increase for a team’s workflow.


When the augur still can’t keep up with recycling output then a horizontal baler may be needed.  This is a large piece of machinery that will take up a lot of space indoors.  Horizontal balers make those high payout mill sized bales and can push them out at an incredible speed.  This is for the largest operations with the strictest production time requirements ultimately causing an enormous volume of waste output.  The price is extremely high, the organizations that require a horizontal baler would need to be comfortable with the investment.  They would also need to be comfortable with the maintenance, as this option has the most mechanical parts over all solutions and can have regular problems after a long time of use.


Lastly, there are many niche pieces of equipment for recyclables.  Such as densifiers, pre-crushers, etc.  There is a piece of equipment for every use case.


Call Direct Compactor and Baler today if you are ready to begin recycling!

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