- By George Rebstrum
- Published 11/10/2011
With landfill prices skyrocketing and government recycling targets getting stricter, every business needs to take waste reduction seriously in order to keep their costs down.
Industrial balers are the perfect solution – these powerful machines effectively compress and bind materials into bales for convenient shipping and recycling.
The following guide will explain how industrial balers work and how they can benefit your business.
How Balers Work
Industrial balers can be stand-alone, or form part of a material handling process with conveyor systems and shredders. They function by feeding in loose material either on the side or top (depending on the baler style). This in-feed leads to a chamber where the material accumulates and is compressed into a bale. The finished bale is then bound by wire, plastic or string for easy handling and compact waste disposal.
Balers can be used for a range of materials. There are also specialised balers available for the extraction of oils and liquids from material, thus providing a streamlined recycling process.
Types of Balers
The two main types of baling machine styles are vertical and horizontal. This describes the way the material travels through the machine itself and also refers to the way the waste material is fed into the machine.
With horizontal balers, loose materials are generally introduced in one end and flow to the other end where the finished bale is ejected. They take up more floor space than vertical balers, but they can handle greater load capacity and have more automated functions.
Vertical balers are often single load machines, so are perfect for premises with limited space. They are typically loaded from the front or the top and need to be manually unloaded when the compacting and baling is complete, meaning they’re a good choice for smaller facilities, especially those that often deal with waste that is lighter in density and volume.
In addition to these two main types, bale size is also an important consideration. The larger the bale, the less frequently it must be changed, which therefore requires the least labour in terms of tying off bales or moving them with powered equipment. Larger balers however obviously aren’t suited to locations where space is scarce.
You can also consider further options to make industrial balers more convenient for your business, such as automatic in-feed of loose material and auto-tie.
Advantages of Industrial Balers
Balers are highly effective at both compacting waste and recycling materials. They:
- Reduce storage space requirements by compressing material and making it more stackable.
- Reduce handling by powered equipment such as pallet jacks and lift trucks.
- Reduce labour requirements.
- Reduce landfill costs.
- Improve the sorting of recyclable materials from waste.
The Difference between Balers and Compactors
I have found that some business owners are confused by the difference between balers and compactors. In a nutshell, balers help companies to improve their recycling with a minimum of fuss, while compactors merely compress waste to make it easier to tackle. Let’s clarify further:
Balers take loose, recyclable products and compress them into a bundle that is bound and tied for easy handling. They allow businesses to take valuable material out of their waste stream and sort them into bales for collection. This minimises the cost of waste disposal, makes your material easier to recycle and gives the waste and recycling process a lower carbon footprint.
Compactors simply compress mixed waste materials into a contained area to be picked up by your waste collector. This process means that waste does not have to be sorted by your business, but it also entails a higher chance of contaminating materials such as cardboard or plastic so that they are rendered unrecyclable.
Industrial balers are an effective waste solution for every business in terms of reducing costs and meeting recycling targets. These machines can be bought or rented, making them affordable for every budget.
About the Author: George Rebstrum is an adviser on industrial balers for businesses.