How best to manage a plastic bag and cardboard box baling program with only one baler at a store.
Today’s post has been written by Ryan Melowic Vice President of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.
The first approach is the program that numerous large retail chains have adopted, which is known as creating “sandwich bales”. These bales are compiled of both cardboard and plastic. Workers place 10 to 20 inches of cardboard into the baler first, then shrink wrap and plastic bags are loaded in, and another section of cardboard is placed on top. The baler then presses the bale into a “sandwich” with 9 to 18 inches of recyclables plastic in the middle. However, in the recycling world, when fiber and plastic are together as one, this is considered contamination. Therefore, the bales must be picked up, taken to a local recycling center and broken apart and separated. Then, the plastic is baled together and the cardboard is baled together. At this point, these items can be effectively sold.
The second approach is where the store has enough space to stage the plastic bags until there is enough to complete a full bale. This requires the backroom of the retailer to be large enough to store 400-600 lbs. plastic.
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