Recycling Balers and Compactors

We offer a wide range of balers and compactors and offer a full service be it a ready-made machine to a bespoke custom-built machine, installation, training, health and safety and options for purchase or lease we are here to help and of course, we can always collect the waste.

Below is a guide we have put together to help you understand more, please call us for further information.

Main sections for the guide

What is a recycling baler
How do recycling balers work?
What are the different types of recycling balers?
What are the different baler machine sizes?
What are the different bale sizes?
What type of waste can a recycling baler bale?
What is a compactor?
How does a waste compactor it work?
What are the different types of waste compactors?
What are the different waste types a compactor can be used for?
Why would you use a recycling baler or compactor?
Who uses recycling balers and compactors?
What is the RAM?
How long does it take to bale and compact, waste?
What type of power outlet is required for a baler/compactor?

What is a recycling baler?

A recycling baler is designed to simplify the recycling process of waste items such as aluminium, paper, plastic, cardboard and glass by compressing these materials into blocks. The blocks created by a recycling baler ensure recyclable materials are much easier to store, transport and process.

How do recycling balers work?

While every style of baler will have its own unique instructions, most industrial machines will follow the same simple operative process.

This begins by feeding the bale strapping into the machine before adding the chosen recyclable waste material into the chamber. Once the door to the baler is closed and locked, the machine then utilises extreme pressure within the chamber to compress, for example, plastic into a small, tight block – a bale. The size of this bale is dependent on machine size, which we’ll detail below.

Further material can typically be added to the baler between compressions to ensure the bale capacity has been reached. Once the maximum volume of material has been compressed, providing the strapping has been tied, the removal of material is simple and ready for further processing.

What are the different types of recycling balers?

Fully automatic recycling balers are best for businesses with a consistently large output of recyclable materials. Extremely efficient, a fully automatic baler produces mill-sized bales, and are typically used within distribution, retail and manufacturing industries.

Semi-automatic balers, while having similar functionality to fully automatic balers, are more suited to businesses that don’t have as high a recycling output. Baling automation preferences are largely dependent on hourly output, with higher automation requirements correlating with higher output levels.

Manual balers are for smaller businesses still, still within the retail and manufacturing sector, but not requiring a high level of baling. These machines require skilled operational knowledge to ensure correct manual input. Similarly, hydraulic balers are specialised machines that use hydraulic systems to compress recyclable materials correctly. Hydraulic balers are often better suited for cardboard baling requirements.

What are the different baler sizes?

Mill/large

Large bailers are often fully-automatic, suiting industrial businesses with complex and consistent recycling needs. Mill-sized balers are ideal for cardboard and plastic and help to reduce storage space thanks to their higher capacity, and typically utilise a hydraulic ram to compress the chamber contents.

Mobile/portable

Portable balers are suited for businesses with flexible requirements, as their mobility ensures that industries such as hospitality can benefit more easily thanks to their across-business usage. Portable balers also save money in terms of transportation and storage requirements.

Mini/small

Ideal for small businesses, mini balers are much smaller than their industrial counterparts and are usually simpler to operate. They’re lightweight and easy to handle, often featuring refrigerator-style doors for ease of use. Mini balers produce very small bales.

Vertical

Vertical balers are those than compress waste with a vertical force. They’re often chosen for their smaller footprint, taking up less floor space in comparison to a horizontal baler. They’re often cheaper, too, and can process a variety of waste materials depending on the model you opt for. Some more sophisticated vertical balers will crush specialised materials, such as coffee cups and storage drums.

Vertical balers are slightly larger in size, making them a perfect waste solution for medium-sized businesses, such as nursing homes, hotels and convenience stores.

Horizontal balers

Horizontal balers squash waste horizontally, pushing the material from either side instead of downwards.

This type of baler is ideal for large commercial businesses needing to crush a high volume of waste, fast. Horizontal balers are also chosen for their consistency, producing waste blocks of equal size and shape, even when operated at speed.

Horizontal balers can work with other industrial machinery, such as conveyor belts and shredders, helping to further speed up the waste disposal process. They’re often used for the packaging or newspapers, cardboard and other non-elastic waste items.

What are the different bale sizes?

The production of bale sizes is very much dependent on the size and type of baler you utilise. For example, the largest, mill-sized balers can produce cardboard bales weighing in excess of 500kg. At the other end of the scale, mini-sized balers can produce cardboard bales of just 29kg. It is wholly dependent on an individual company’s recycling needs and throughput.

What type of waste can a recycling baler bale?

Industrial recycling balers are designed to bale all sorts of recyclable waste, including industrial and commercial-use cardboard; plastic such as wrap, bottles, PET and cartons; glass; scrap metal; aluminium; paper; coffee cups and even general waste.

The type of baler you choose will determine what waste you’re able to compact, so make sure to do your research before purchasing.

What is a compactor?

Compacting machines are designed to simply crush waste material into a smaller volume. Compactors are typically used to crush mixed waste into bins, ready for removal.

Compactors are a great choice for businesses that don’t produce a large amount of waste or produce waste of different varieties. They’re designed to minimise the volume of mixed waste, to make disposal quicker and easier.

How does a waste compactor it work?

A compactor uses a hydraulic metal ram to crush waste, reducing its surface area. Compactors typically work very similarly to a baler, in terms of loading a chamber before turning on to activate the ramming process, but the end result differs in terms of not producing a bale in the same way a baler does. This is due to the waste produced by a compactor going to landfill rather than onwards for further processing.

What are the different types of waste compactors?

Static compactors

Designed for manufacturing facilities, static compactors are bolted in place and are perfect for churning through high volumes of dry and bulky waste. Static compactors typically have chambers ranging between 1 and 4 cubic yard capacity. Static compactors are simple to empty by removing and swapping out the skip.

Vertical compactors

Vertical compactors squash waste down into a removable container, where it can be transported from the compactor safely and securely.

The liquid held inside the compactor is held there until the container is removed, making waste disposal mess and hassle-free.

Apartment compactors or Twin compactors

This type of waste disposal unit is designed for high-rise blocks of apartments, where each residence has access to a communal chute. Slightly smaller than the traditional vertical compactor, the apartment compactor is around 2 cubic yards in size, allowing for multiple compactors to be held at any one time.

Portable compactors

Some compactors are designed to be fully portable, such as skips with compaction built-in. This type of waste disposal is usually managed by an external firm, who will remove the unit entirely to empty it off-site.

What are the different waste types a compactor can be used for?

Unlike balers, compactors are designed to crush pretty much any type of waste material, whether sorted or not. If your organisation does not have a sorting facility, a compactor is an excellent option as it is designed specifically to crush just about anything you put in it! Cardboard, plastic, metal, garden waste, paper and aluminium are just some of the types of waste a compactor can be used for.

Why would you use a recycling baler or compactor?

Balers and compactors are increasingly necessary for businesses looking to expand their recycling and waste disposal processes while looking to save money and space. The surface area they take up far outweighs the surface area that existing, pre-baled recycling or pre-compacted waste occupies, and ensures that the removal process of recycling and general waste is more fluid, thanks to baled/compacted waste’s ease of transportation.

Who uses recycling balers and compactors?

Recycling balers and compactors are suited and required in every industry imaginable, spanning retailers and food producers to manufacturers, hospitality and distribution centres. Recycling and waste companies themselves use them to streamline their disposal processes. Balers and compactors are suited to all business sizes, so even independent retail stores can benefit from what a cardboard baler, for example, can offer in terms of space-saving benefits.

What is the RAM?

One thing to consider when selecting a baler or compactor for your business is its RAM capability. This refers to the pressure of the ram held inside the machinery – the stronger the ram, the more it’ll be able to crush. If you’re crushing tougher materials like metal and plastic, you’ll want to choose a RAM with higher compression to avoid springing waste. Compactors are available in 2000, 2300, or 5000 lbs. of ram force. They range from 12 to 18 inches wide, 18 to 24.5 inches deep, and 34 to 36 inches high.

It’s important to be wary of the safety requirements for high ram balers, as the force applied to materials such as plastic and glass could cause springing and shattering during the compacting process. Always wear the correct safety equipment, including goggles for eye protection.

How long does it take to bale and compact, waste?

The time it takes for your baler or compactor to crush your waste depends on a variety of factors, such as the size and strength of the machine you have, and the waste you want to crush. This is also true for the cycle time of baling/compacting: if you have a mill-sized baler, for example, the baling process may well be on an industrial scale, meaning ongoing compressing during business operation times.

What type of power outlet is required for a baler/compactor?

This is entirely dependent on the model of baler/compactor you are using and varies hugely depending on the baler/compactor size. Be sure to speak to the manufacturer and look through the model specs before connecting to power.

To discuss what solution would work best for your business, please contact us today you can reach us via free phone 0800 211 8390 or fill out an online form.