Cardboard is a natural operational byproduct of just about every business’s operations. This commodity, although valuable, creates fire hazards, interferes with workplace safety, and reduces available workspace when not mitigated on a daily basis. Removing cardboard can be costly in terms of labor and time. To help deal with this, companies use cardboard compactors to compact the material to be hauled away at a a later date. Compacting cardboard is a practice that is sometimes misunderstood in the waste and recycling industry. There are actually two different ways that business owners compact cardboard and knowing which one is best for your business can save you time and money.
Cardboard Compactors By Harmony
While a trash compactor and recycling baler start with similar functions, their use can be very different when it comes to compacting cardboard. Let’s look at how each type of machine works with cardboard and which one is best for your business.
Using OUTDOOR Compactors For Cardboard
Trash compactors like Harmony’s stationary compactors, self-contained, or vertical compactors can all be used to compact cardboard. Typically, these types of machines are located outside of your business. They can be fed manually at the ground level, or by a variety of chute, walk on, or drive on configurations.
Cardboard is inserted into the compactor and the compaction cycle is initiated by an operator pushing a button. A hydraulic ram compresses the cardboard into a container and then retracts back into the compactor. The more cardboard that is added and cycles run, the smaller the footprint of the waste inside the container.
When the container is full, a waste hauler comes to pick up the waste and take it to be recycled or added to the waste stream.
This type of commercial cardboard compactor is used when there are not cardboard recyclers in a given area. Business owners still save the time needed for employees to break down boxes. The compactor also provides a safe and secure storage place for the cardboard until it is picked up. The compactor location outside of the building allows for more operational space inside.
The two main drawbacks of this method of compacting cardboard is that cardboard is still being added as trash into the waste stream when it could and should be recycled, and you may not be getting paid for the commodity to be taken away. Actually, you might be getting charged for someone else to haul away and recycle the cardboard for themselves!
Using REYCLING BALERS For Cardboard
The alternative is using recycling balers as cardboard compactors. Like trash compactors, recycling balers can come in both vertical and horizontal orientations. They can also be fed a variety of ways, including manually fed through a main loading door, or by use of a conveyor, hopper, or tipper. They also compress cardboard after it is loaded through the initiation of a hydraulic compaction cycle in which a ram or platen forces the material against the bottom or side of a chamber.
The main difference is that when the chamber is full, operators are able to stop the ram on the baled material and bind it into a bale using wire, strapping, or twine. Once made into a bale, cardboard is then ejected to be moved into storage using a pallet jack or forklift. Watch this short video on how to make a perfect cardboard bale!
Stackable bales, especially those that are 60″ in width, or “mill-sized” are more desired by recyclers for ease of transport and redemption value. Using a recycling baler to bale cardboard is the most beneficial for businesses that have access to recyclers nearby. They can still mitigate cardboard to increase workplace safety and reduce fire hazards, but they also recoup the revenue generated by recycling cardboard. They also come closer to achieving sustainability goals knowing that less material is going to the landfill.
Harmony Is Here To Help!
Whether you prefer to use a trash compactor or recycling baler to compact your excess cardboard, Harmony is here to help! With the widest range of long lasting waste and recycling equipment available on the market, our talented sales team will use our proven process to ensure you are proposed the right solution for your business.
When you contact us, you will talk with a real person who will listen to your needs. Call us at (507) 886-6666 or fill out this simple form and put a cardboard compactor by harmony to work for you today