Choosing the Right Recycling Baler for Your Business


The increasing focus on environmental sustainability and greener business practices has also meant a rise in local or state restrictions and requirements governing the disposal of certain types of waste products.

The need for stringent waste management and disposal plan has become vital for a broad range of business enterprises, regardless of their scale of operation. Given the wide use of packaging materials such as cardboard and plastics, many operators find themselves needing to source some form of trash compactor equipment to meet evolving waste management needs.

To assist in making the right equipment selection, here is a general guide to the basic types of baling compactors available and their general applications.

Initial equipment purchase or existing equipment upgrade

For both new equipment installations and existing equipment upgrades, a good starting point should consider the following:

  • Assess the range and type of waste material which is being processed – typically, this will include things like paper, cardboard, plastics, or metals.
  • Try to assess the current amount or volume of waste material that is processed daily/weekly.
  • Next, try to estimate future needs – how much will this current volume increase by, if at all.

A range of equipment sizes is available on the commercial market to suit operations of varying scales. As a general rule of thumb, baling equipment can compress recyclable waste into bales ranging from around 20kg up to as much as 1,000kg.

Whether the intention is to purchase new or secondhand equipment such as a recycling baler, referrals should always be made to a reputable supplier who specializes in compactors. A professional operator will be able to consider these estimations and make an appropriate equipment recommendation to augment the waste management plan.

Two generic styles of baler

A waste baler allows the user to extract recyclables from their waste stream and permit the compaction of these materials into a solid bale. Not only does this facilitate ease of removal from the site, but it also reduces the potential storage needed to hold the recyclable waste within the business premises.

Regardless of size, recycling balers or compactors come in two generic configurations – vertical or horizontal style.

Vertical style balers

As the name suggests, the vertical baler compresses waste materials from the top down. In other words, the compaction unit is positioned vertically.

Vertical balers will generally be cheaper than a horizontal unit, and will typically have lower processing throughput.

This configuration may be preferable if installation space is at a premium. Typically, this unit will fit into a smaller space compared to a similar size horizontal unit.

Horizontal or ‘ground fed’ balers

The horizontal, or ground-fed baler, is a self-contained unit. It may occupy a fairly large space horizontally and is usually considered a fixed, immovable installation. This may mean some closer consideration of siting and general accessibility for the loading of waste products and removal of baled material.

Dependent upon the size, the horizontal baler may be fed by hand, bin tipper, or a conveyor belt system. Generally speaking, a vertical system may be more expensive, but may also be capable of processing a greater volume of material waste.


The installation of a recyclable waste baler can reap returns in increased staff efficiency, as well as allow better utilization of available floor space. The environmental benefits include the reduction of waste committed to landfills unnecessarily, and the potential to improve the carbon footprint of the business concern.

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