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Kit: How to choose a baler

Jonathan Oldfield advises on how to choose the right baler for your needs and maximise your return on investment (ROI)

You may have heard that the advantages of waste baling are numerous, but how can you identify if your organisation could benefit? A good starting point is to consider the following questions:

  • Could a large proportion of your waste be recycled?
  • What are your waste collection and disposal costs and could this financial outlay be avoided?
  • Do you have waste storage issues?
  • Are ever-increasing landfill tax charges impacting on your bottom line?
  • What impact are legislative developments having on your organisation and are you upholding your obligation to responsibly handle your waste? This may be particularly pertinent if you are in Scotland where there are new waste regulations.

If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you will undoubtedly benefit. The next stage would be to consider your specific needs in order to research the marketplace and not lose sight of the initial criteria you set out to meet. These should include: material type (there are balers suitable for an array of dry recyclables including cardboard, paper, plastics, PET bottles, foil and aluminium); material size and volume; the space you have available; throughput required – how quickly do you need to handle the waste and lastly, end-user/marketplace requirements.

Armed with an insight into your company-specific requirements, there are some additional technological considerations to be made. The main one is ease of loading as an ergonomic loading height will make it easier and simpler for the operator which will save time and is better for their posture. Also, a larger opening is generally preferable especially when handling materials such as cardboard boxes.

Another point not to overlook is the machine’s safety features. Look for balers that contain inbuilt features to protect operators such as mechanical or automatic bale ejections. CE certification and an EU declaration of conformity should also be a given. Also, while maintenance requirements might not be an obvious consideration, they are vital to keeping even the most robust machine operating to it optimum.

The main benefit of this procurement process will be the generation of an additional revenue stream from your recovered recyclables. And with less waste going to landfill, ever-increasing taxes and charges will be avoided too. In addition, the overall reduction on your waste volume will provide savings on handling and transportation costs.

But crucially, it is the ROI figure that will guide you the most and this will become evident by comparing current disposal costs with the additional revenue that will be generated from the commodity value of your recyclable materials.

If you think that a baler could add value to your approach to waste management the final stage would be to seek the expertise of experienced machine specialists who can match a solution exactly to your needs.

And lastly, before you sign on the dotted line ask for the contact details of existing clients so that you can speak to them for references and even ask their advice too! 

Jonathan Oldfield is managing director of Riverside Waste Machinery

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