- By George Rebstrum
- Published 04/3/2012
The costs of waste disposal, both economically and environmentally, are on the rise – landfill charges are already high and they are set to further increase shortly. This ties in to the UK’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint in line with agreed EU targets, and another way they are doing this is to introduce regulations in the near future that will require businesses to segregate their waste into recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard and plastics.
For this reason, balers are fast becoming a necessity rather than a choice. As opposed to compactors which merely compress mixed waste materials into a contained area so they can be picked up by a waste collector, balers allow you to easily sort your company’s various waste streams and then pack them into neat, tied bundles ready for recycling.
This is not only a major step forward in helping the environment by allowing more materials to be recycled, it will save you a significant amount of money in landfill tax as well skip collection.
The following guide will give you the key facts explaining why balers are the best way forward for your company, as well as give you advice on choosing the most suitable baler for your organisation’s particular needs.
How Balers Pay for Themselves
You can either buy a baler or rent one. Whichever option you decide on, you can easily measure your return of investment by calculating the amount of money that will be saved on sending waste to landfill. Simply take the cost of having a skip emptied, multiply this by the number of times per week or month and you will see how much you can save by not having to use the skip as frequently. Your baler supplier will be able to tell you after an assessment how much skip space you will reduce through baling. In addition, you will also see a significant saving in your landfill tax by sending more materials to be recycled.
Another benefit of investing in a baler is that your waste materials will use up less space when stored because the material will be compressed and strapped tightly together, plus it will thus be much less of a fire risk as it will burn slowly in the event of combustion.
Recyclable Waste Streams for Baling
Ideally you should never throw recyclable material away. The following materials can be sorted, compressed and recycled using a baler:
· Empty paper, cardboard and plastic packaging
· Fibrous material such as cotton, wood, wool and mineral fibres
· Foil, aluminium and plastic
· General production waste
· Plastic trays and containers
· PET bottles
· Shredder waste
· 200 litre drums and barrels.
Tips for Choosing the Right Baler
There is a range of baler models available to suit every type of business. Generally, the smaller vertical models will suit commercial, office and retail businesses, while the very large horizontal balers are used by recycling companies.
Here are some key factors to think about which will help you choose the baler that suits your organisation best:
While a baler should be chosen according to the amount of waste you need to process, those which produce ‘mill size’ bales are the most convenient since their dimensions are most ideal for loading onto lorries and they can be sold directly to recycling mills.
When compression is taking place, a baler cannot be loaded. Thus, consider a strategy that allows you to tackle waste streams in shorter cycle times to maximise operator efficiency.
Especially when it comes to large objects that need to be crushed such as empty cardboard boxes, you’ll want an area of space that is fairly roomy so that materials can easily be placed in the baler.
The binding that ties your baled bundles can be either plastic tape or steel wire strapping. While the steel option is more secure and simply removed during recycling using magnets, it will affect the amount of space needed since it will have to be correctly positioned in the baling machine.
You might want to consider the most optimal features to ensure the safety of the person who will operate the baler. Such features include two handed operation, hydraulic door locks, safety switches and automatic bale ejection systems (these allow for easy handling of completed bales).
In a nutshell, balers are the ultimate solution to help businesses save on space, recycle more and make significant savings on skip collection as well as landfill tax. A reputable baling company can assess your business and recommend the baler model that will suit your needs best.
About the Author: George Rebstrum is an independent consultant on balers for businesses.