When our consultants review existing commercial recycling programs, they often come across light and loosely baled material. Increasing the weight and uniformity of bales can often be the low hanging fruit towards a successful commercial recycling program.  Bale density can play a major factor in the overall profitability with business recycling.  Sometimes this can be due to equipment issues, but more often it can be largely improved with a few helpful tricks of the trade.

Here are some quick tips for making heavy bales;

– If baling cardboard, flatten boxes prior to loading in baler and spread boxes out evenly inside bale chamber.

– When loading initial material for a new bale, do not load to the top.  Partially fill chamber to about only 1/3 of its capacity. This will produce a good base and tight compaction for the bottom of bale to build on. Repeat for first 2-3 cycles.

– When not loading material, manually stop the platten at its lowest position so it is constantly pressing down the material in chamber and keeping the base of the bale tightly compacted. Many grades of recyclables will expand, so keeping the baler ram in the down position will keep material compressed.

– When bale is full, make sure platten is depressed all the way down prior to opening door and using wire ties.

– Use baling wire in all available wire slots. Usually at least 5-6 wires per bale. Not using a sufficient amount of baling wire will allow the bale to expand and/or prevent from being a tight rectangular shape.

These are just a few tips assuming your baler is in good condition and does not need service. If these tips do not work, we suggest scheduling a maintenance call to further diagnose.

Logistics has a huge impact on recycling so the heavier the bale, the less impact that freight costs will impact your overall recovered value.  Additionally, heavy bales take up less space in a warehouse to store and reduce associated labor costs with handling material. Heavy bales are very important for an effective recycling program. This will lower your costs and increase the value of your material.

Greenpath offers free waste audits and will provide an analysis of your existing business recycling program.