What is a baler machine?

18 October 2022 Shares

Home Recycling baler What is a baler machine?

By Recycling.com/ 18 October 2022 Shares

What is a baler machine?

A waste baler is a recycling machine that compresses waste materials (such as cardboard and plastics) into tight, rectangular bales. Waste balers can be categorized into two variants: vertical balers and horizontal balers. In this article, we go through all the types of waste balers. For expert advice on waste balers, please contact our team of specialists.


Why use a baler?

A baler is a convenient waste management tool for any commercial or industrial business. It helps to sort and compact multiple types of waste streams. The most popular waste streams to bale are cardboard, paper and (soft) plastics. But a baler can also compress metals, textile and is able to extract liquid from aluminum cans for instance.

It really depends on the type of baler which types of waste materials you can compress with it.

Plastic baler - plastic vs. cardboard

Main advantages of a waste baler

  • It helps to save floor space – A waste baler lets you compact large amounts of waste materials into dense bales. A bale of cardboard or plastic takes up less floor space. Because the use of a  baler machine it also eliminates the need for waste containers or a dumpster.
  • It helps to sort waste streams – A waste baler helps to sort waste streams at your site. This enhances the recycling rates and lowers the amount of general waste.
  • It helps for more efficient transportation – Compact bales are easier to handle and are more efficient for transportation.
  • It helps to reduce costs – Baled waste materials can yield an income for your business. Besides, because of the compact size, transportation is also less costly.

Different types of waste balers

Waste balers come in multiple sizes and variants. Let’s go through the most common baler types briefly.

What is a vertical baler?

vertical-cardboard-baler-product-thumbVertical balers are relatively small-sized baling machines that also require the lowest investment. As the name implies, waste materials are compressed vertically. The operator fills the chamber of the baler with cardboard waste, plastic waste or another type of waste. The vertical baling machine compresses the waste materials vertically with internal or external cylinders. These cylinders push down a ram that flattens the waste material inside the baling chamber. Learn more about the basics of a vertical balers.

  • Requires little floor space.
  • Relatively low investment.
  • Compact, small-sized bales.
  • Compresses waste materials vertically.

Read more about vertical cardboard balers

What is a horizontal baler?

horizontal-channel-baler-product-thumbA horizontal baler is an industrial machine that compresses waste streams horizontally, rather than vertically. This recycling machine compacts waste materials into dense mill-sized bales. A horizontal baler is cost-effective when your company produces a minimum of 2,000 kg / 4,400 lbs of cardboard or plastic waste per day. Horizontal balers come in multiple variants. The most common are open-end, closed-end, single ram and two ram balers.

Briefly, an open-end horizontal baler is an automatic baler machine that is characterized by the open rear end of the extrusion chamber and the auto-tie function for the bales. A closed-end horizontal baler is an ‘entry-level’ recycling baler. This baler type is recognized by the closed-off pressing chamber. It is also a smaller baler in comparison to an open-end auto-tie baler.

An open-end extrusion baler is available with one or two rams. A single ram baler is equipped with one cylinder and a two ram baler contains two cylinders. A two-ram baling machine is also known as a twin or dual ram baling press or an L-shape press.

  • Requires a lot of floor space.
  • Relatively high investment.
  • Mill-sized bales.
  • Compresses waste materials horizontally.

Read more about horizontal balers

What is a compactor?

trash-compactor-machineA waste compactor is a closed-end horizontal baler that ‘compacts waste’. A compactor is a compact machine that is often used in retail or supermarkets. This recycling machine sits between a more labor-intensive vertical cardboard baler and a larger-sized regular horizontal baler. The main difference is that a compactor only compacts waste, it doesn’t produce a wired bale.

A compact baling press saves floor space, requires a lower investment than a large horizontal press, offers more capacity than a vertical press, and is more time-efficient.

Waste compactors that are full are picked up by your waste service provider and hauled to a recycling facility for further recycling.

  • Requires quite some floor space.
  • Relatively high investment.
  • Compresses waste materials horizontally.

Read more about waste compactors

Automatic and semi-automatic balers

Besides horizontal and vertical recycling balers, there are also automatic, semi-automatic and manual baling machines. What are the differences?

A fully automatic waste baler is a horizontal baling machine that compresses the bale and also wires the bale automatically. It doesn’t require any manual labor.

A semi-automatic waste baler compresses the bale automatically, but the machine needs help with the wiring. The operator needs to prepare the bale with the baling wiring before the bale can be ejected onto a pallet.


How do balers work?


The process of baling waste materials is quite simple. The machine is filled with waste materials and then closed off.  An hydraulic cylinder pushes the ram with high pressure against the waste material inside a robust baling chamber. The material is crushed, flattened and compressed into a condensed bale inside the baling chamber of the baling machine. The bale is then tied with baling wire and ejected.

Read more about how balers work

By Recycling.com/ 18 October 2022 Shares