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What you need to know when considering retail, industrial or commercial balers

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A baler can provide financial, operational and environmental benefits to your company. But choosing the best baler for your site requires some thought.

industrial commercial baler


Balers are industrial waste management machines that use a ram to compress recyclables into compact bales. You might think of them as just for cardboard, but baler machines can handle a variety of recyclables, including shrink wrap, paper, packaging material, light aluminum scrap and more. In many cases, a single industrial baler can handle multiple types of recyclables, but if your facility has especially high volumes it may make sense to have more than one baler.

Recycling balers provide two primary benefits. First, they reduce the amount of waste headed to the landfill. This means fewer pickups from your garbage hauler, which reduces costs. Second, bales of recyclables can be sold, providing revenue to offset the cost of handling waste.

For organizations focused on reducing their environmental footprint, commercial balers make recycling simpler and more efficient. Moving these waste materials off a manufacturing floor or other work space and into a baler means a safer, cleaner workplace.

commercial baler
Vertical baler

Types of balers

Baler machines come in a wide variety of configurations, but there are two basic types: vertical and horizontal.

are smaller and are ideal for sites where space is limited or the volume of recyclables is relatively low. Some vertical balers are as small as a home refrigerator, while others are larger. Smaller balers handle less recyclables and produce smaller bales which, in some cases, may be easier for workers to handle. Vertical balers are often found in manufacturing, distribution, and retail locations, as well as hospitals and other sites with limited volumes.

Horizontal balers are larger and are most often used in high volume industrial and manufacturing sites. Horizontal balers can be outfitted with conveyor belts and custom hoppers to accommodate different types of waste streams. Horizontal balers can handle very large waste streams, with the largest designed to bale thousands of pounds of recyclables per hour.

Five commercial baler considerations

Waste volume: How much recyclables do you expect to process? Understanding how much waste your commercial baler will need to handle is critical and is usually the first step in choosing one. If you’re not sure, a waste audit can help you understand your waste stream volume and the potential for recycling.

Types of recyclables: Cardboard is probably the most common and plentiful type of waste that is recycled with the help of an industrial baler. But a growing number of other materials can also be diverted and recycled. A review of your operations can help you understand the types of recyclables that can be baled and produce extra revenue to your bottom line

Maintenance and repair: Baler machines require periodic maintenance so they operate efficiently and safely. Because they have lots of moving parts, they can occasionally break down. It’s essential that you have access to well-trained and qualified technicians to handle repairs and maintenance safely and quickly. When renting or leasing a baler, does the company providing the machine to you also handle repairs, or will you be on your own if something goes wrong?

Future needs: Market forces, packaging changes from your vendors and changes in your own operations can all force changes to the volume and types of materials in your waste stream. Will the recycling baler you choose be able to handle these changes or are you locking yourself in to a narrow solution that may not be flexible enough? For most facilities, renting a baler provides more flexibility than purchasing a machine that may not fit your needs in a few years.

Financial considerations: Finally, you’ll need to consider the financial dimensions of your decision. Will you choose to purchase a baler, which can require a large up-front cash expenditure and locks you into a single solution, or is renting a better option?

If you happen to be an industrial waste equipment expert, these questions may be easy to answer. But if you’re not, it pays to engage a professional to ensure you make the best baler decision. To save time, money and hassle, call Waste Disposal Solutions at (866) 428-5748 or chat online now.