Advantages of Baling OCC to your Cardboard Recycling Program


A downstroke, or vertical, baler can be a valuable tool in simplifying the Cardboard Recycling program at your manufacturing, distributing, printing, or retail facility. These machines compact old corrugated cardboard (OCC), plastic film and shrink wrap, and mixed office paper into the 60" x 36" cubes accepted by processing mills. Downstroke baling machines are always a cost-effective investment if you generate:

  •  5 tons or more of plastic film and shrink wrap per month, or
  • 10 tons or more of OCC per month

WQ_VertBaler-2-5.1-imageBaling your own OCC has several benefits:

  1. Increasing your floor space. One bale of OCC is equivalent to 15-20 gaylord boxes of loose material. A typical downstroke baler measures only 60"x 35" as opposed to a 42" x 36" gaylords. How much valuable floor space can you free up for other uses by investing in a downstroke machine? As an added benefit, the machine also doubles as a receptacle for your OCC until you generate enough to make the bale. 
  2. Saving on waste hauling charges. A 42-yard compactor holds approximately 4 tons of OCC, and you're paying your hauler something in the neighborhood of $170/haul to take each load off your hands. 
  3. Making more money. Cardboard is a commodity. Although OCC prices vary monthly by region, you will generally earn between $30.00 - $40.00 more per ton for baled material vs. loose.
  4. Simplifying the ability to weigh and grade your own materials. The most streamlined and profitable recycling programs  treat their recyclables as other inventory by tracking the weights and grades of those recovered materials. That's nearly impossible to do without a baler.

iWhat about the additional labor costs involved in switching to a baling system? You'll find they are minimal and are covered by the revenue you receive from processing your own OCC. Specifically, your company already pays one or more employees to load material in a compactor; it takes the same amount of time to load OCC or other recyclables into a baler. A bale of OCC weighs approximately one ton and takes an employee an additional 10 minutes of time to tie up with wire and stack in a trailer. When you're earning and additional $30 - $40 for each one, your company still comes out ahead for a more profitable Cardboard Recycling program.

Did you know you should NEVER allow a recycler to finance your baler and other equipment? To find out why, download our free white paper "7 Proven Ways to Increase Recycling Revenue."

7 Proven Ways to Increase Recycling Revenue