How to Recycle Plastic Film and Shrink Wrap (LDPE)


PlasticFilmBalesWe've talked about why it's always cost-effective to divert plastic film, shrink wrap, and other LDPE away from your waste stream and into your recycling stream: every ounce of weight you save from the landfill is money in your pocket. Because the current market is strong and is expected to grow, so every bit of your shrink wrap is worth money. 

So how to you handle it? That really depends on the volume you generate each month. As a general guide:

  • Under 2,000 pounds per month (approximately 20 gaylord boxes of loose LDPE): move it to your single-stream recycling. 

  • At between 2,000 pounds and 4,000 pounds per month: you'll earn the most revenue with a downstroke baler. Most companies put their baler into double duty service, processing OCC with LDPE. You will earn the hightest revenue by storing loose plastic films in gaylords until there's enought for a bale (16 gaylords loose LDPE = 1 bale). Or you can make sandwich bales. Do this by loading OCC, adding 4-6 gaylords of shrink wrap, then fill the rest of the way with OCC. You won't earn as much back, but you'll save valuable floor space. sandwich_bale

    If labor costs are a consideration, you can also use a 42-yard compactor to compact LDPE alone or mix it with OCC. The compactor takes very little work and effort, but you won't make as much money as you would with the downstroke baler. The baler takes more of an investment in man-hours but you'll get paid more for your commodities.

  • At quantities of over 4,000 pounds per month (4,000 lbs = 40 gaylords = 60 cubic yards = 6 ten-yard dumpsters), it's highly cost-effective to assign a dedicated baler with a cage. Collect at various places in your facility and bale as you go.

Between high landfill costs and competitive market pricing for plastic films, It's good business sense to recycle. You even don't have to make the time to get started - contact us here at Federal International for a complementary analysis. We'll calculate your weight and volume and tell you how much money your company can generate by recycling your plastics.

Free Plastic Film Recycling Analysis

Are you in the market for a baler, compactor, or other recycling equipment? Don't let your recycler choose and finance your recycling equipment for you. To find out why and for other strategies to reduce your solid waste bills and increase your recycling dollars, download our free white paper:

7 Proven Ways to Increase Recycling Revenue