Environmental Consulting Agency Newsletter - EQUIPMENT BUYERS BEWARE!
March 24, 2010
by Mike Francis
There are many factors to consider when evaluating the proper equipment to
maximize the value of your recyclables. Let the experts at Environmental Consulting Agency help you determine the best equipment and pricing available. In today’s market we can help you stretch your investment dollars; we can help to grow your business and increase your profits.
The standard vertical baler is commonly used for cardboard, usually producing a 60 inch wide bale that should weigh a minimum of 1000 pounds.
Lesser weights and less dense bales will be achieved when baling plastic and aluminum. For larger bales, you might want to consider a unit with a
larger cylinder than the standard six inch cylinder. Labor and maintenance costs should be taken into account.
In general, the most efficient way of removing the finished bale from the chamber is a paddle eject system.
Dual chains are commonly used, but breakage can be a problem with some units. The heavier the loading door results in fewer service problems when compared to lighter doors that can drift off center and cause the unit to stop operating. A key operated starting switch is an OSHA requirement.
Volume is obviously the key factor in determining whether the more expensive horizontal baler is the proper choice. This equipment works well for a variety of applications including non ferrous metals. You should determine if your material needs to be preconditioned by fluffing or shredding before it is fed into the baler. The most economical feeding system should be evaluated with the choices being air, conveyor or good old fashion manual labor. You have a choice of selecting a unit with automatic bale tie capabilities or the more time consuming, but less expensive manual tie option. The bale eject design of the unit is also important as ease of removal is a labor consideration.
A stationary compactor is often used for cardboard recycling, especially at facilities where the material can be fed into the unit from dock level. This method is less labor intensive than a vertical baler, but will not be as valuable as baled material, so again it is a matter of penciling out the best option for your situation. If the compactor is to be used for waste disposal, only dry material should be placed in stationary units. If food waste or liquid is in the waste stream, a self contained compactor should be installed as this type of waste will result in spillage and offensive odors from stationary units. An important aspect is the type of pickup design
constructed on the unit to make sure the company hauling it has no difficulty loading it onto their truck.
Used Reconditioned Equipment
Due to our recent economic blip, there has been a higher than usual number of used equipment on the market. There can be some very excellent bargains as pricing is generally 30 to 50% lower than new equipment. However, here is where the buyer should be extremely cautious because equipment on its last legs can result in continuous repair bills or may totally expire after a short time in operation. Beware of the internet as I have seen cases where the pretty picture of the unit for sale bore no resemblance to the disaster that was delivered. A reconditioned unit that has been thoroughly checked out by an experienced service organization is a far better choice when considering previously owned. If possible, it is wise to see the unit in operation and inspect its condition.
Many companies and municipalities opt to lease recycling equipment because the monthly income derived from the recycled material exceeds the monthly payment for the equipment. A typical lease purchase option would run 36,48 or 60 months with a $1. or 10% buyout option at the end of the selected lease term.
Sure, price is an important consideration, but you want to select equipment that will perform for many years with minimal service problems. Compare specification sheets of different manufactures. Look for durable construction as opposed to units that have compromised on steel thickness to save money. Look for unique features that will ensure smooth operation. Make sure you have adequate power in your facility to accommodate the electrical requirements of the unit you are considering. Warranties can vary considerably and a warranty is only as good as the support behind it. Does the manufacturer have an authorized local service agency or will you be at the mercy of a trial and error telephone call? If you need further help in determining your equipment
needs please contact us at E.C.A. and we will provide you with a free consultation.