How to use a baler


We appreciate that when working on a fast-moving and demanding site, levels of waste build up and can take up most of your space. Although, in most cases, there is always an opportunity to take a step-back and find new ways of making more room for operations.

Waste can arrive in all shapes and sizes, which can prove challenging when stockpiling and become like a complicated game of Tetris. Here at ACM, our aim is to remove the Tetris feel to your stockpiling by providing efficient recycling equipment that can easily compact your waste – making it easier to stockpile, whilst providing more room on site.

One of our most popular equipment options available is recycling balers, which are proving to be more efficient and versatile than ever before.

What is a recycling baler?

Balers are suitable for multiple materials, helping prepare your recyclables and get the most value from them. Our recycling balers press and compact recyclables – such as cardboard, plastics and paper, into precise and compact bales. Bailing reduces storage, handling and transportation costs whilst maximising the recyclable value of your material.

So, let us help you with your game of waste Tetris, and explain just how they work:

Step 1 – Confirm your waste streams

The first step to working your baler is to confirm what’s going in it. It might seem simple but contaminating your bales of waste can reduce the value of your recyclables drastically.

Step 2 – Segregate your waste

To ensure you are maximising the cost-effectiveness of your waste streams, ensure that all cardboard/plastic/paper is removed from any general waste before bailing. Make sure that the waste has as little contamination from plastics or polythene too, as this will reduce the value of bales and make recycling and disposal more difficult for smaller size bales.

Step 3 – Only use full trained operators

To maintain quality and safety on site, ACM always insist that all pieces of equipment are only used by fully trained operators. There is training available for customer staff members, and our account management team can help deploy this for you.

Step 4 – Create the perfect bale

For trained operators, here is how to make the perfect bale:

  • When beginning a bale, lay a piece of cardboard into the bottom of the baler, making sure that it is approximately the same size as the bottom of the baler. Then place the relevant recyclable material onto this. When complete it will help to keep the integrity of the bale and prevent smaller pieces falling out.
  • When tying off the twine for smaller bales and wire for mill size bales, tie them off as tightly as possible. This will prevent the bales expanding when the pressure of the baler is released and the bale ejected. This will make storage and transportation easier.
  • When baling cardboard boxes, break them open rather than putting them in whole. This allows them to be laid flat and will create a more compact bale.
  • When baling, spread the cardboard/plastic about evenly. This will create a more compact and, therefore, denser bale. A more compact bale will reduce the overall volume required for storage.
  • When completing a bale reverse the process in point 2 by putting a large sheet of cardboard on top to complete the ‘sandwich’ effect and producing a well-constructed and tidy bale.

Step 5 – Look after your bale

To keep your recyclables valuable, the maintenance of bales on site must always be considered. With bales, you must always keep them dry, meaning storage needs to be in a safe, dry location.

Transport is also a key consideration because it is governed by weight restrictions. This means that you do not want to use your transport to move any water from in and around the bale. If you are receiving revenue from mill size bales, the mill may reject a bale if the water content is deemed to be too great. The maximum a mill will accept is 12% water content, but this will reduce its potential rebate value.

You must also ensure that there aren’t any combustibles or pressurised vessels placed into a baler. If you are in doubt about the effect of placing something into a baler, leave it out and seek advice by contacting ACM.