Facilities can significantly reduce the volume of solid waste shipped offsite by using a trash compactor. A trash compactor is not considered a “true” waste reduction option. Compaction is defined as a treatment or disposal alternative. However, a compactor used in conjunction with other recycling and material reuse projects can lead to substantial reductions in waste volume. If your facility is billed for waste disposal according to the number and size of containers, and not by container weight, your waste management costs will also be reduced dramatically.
Trash compactors come in various sizes with different processing capacities. Equipment operation controls are typically available with a variety of options which include varying degrees of automatic operation and “container full” alarms. In self-contained units, the compactor head and container form an integral unit to prevent liquid leaks during compaction.
- After cardboard, wood, plastic, and other recyclable materials have been removed and recycled from your facility waste streams, consider installing a trash compactor to reduce the volume of non-recycled waste going to the landfill. A volume reduction of 75 to 80 percent is typically achievable for compacted waste.
- A self-contained compactor unit is recommended for cafeteria and restaurant trash applications due to possible liquid leakage from food wastes.
- The size of the compactor you choose should take into account the load carrying capacity of the transport truck (and local roads) when the container is full.
- The required disposal frequency should be considered when choosing a compactor size. If food wastes are to be compacted, more frequent disposal will be needed to control odor and pest problems, particularly in a warm climate.
- If more frequent disposal is desired, a smaller, less expensive compactor could be used.
A large manufacturing company currently recycles plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, and metals from their manufacturing waste streams. All non-recycled manufacturing related waste is compacted and sent to a local landfill. However, the facility has a number of onsite cafeterias for employees which do not recycle or compact waste. These cafeterias provide approximately 5000 meals a day to employees and generate 26 cubic meters (34 cubic yds) of non-compacted cafeteria waste per day. Recyclable cardboard boxes, wood produce crates, and plastic containers account for an estimated 20% of the cafeteria waste volume. The remaining waste volume consists of food waste and food contaminated materials such as styrofoam plates and cups, plastic utensils, and mixed paper and plastic.
The facility made a first step toward cafeteria waste disposal cost reduction by recycling cardboard, wood, and plastic containers. However, even with recycling and source reduction efforts in place, the cafeterias still generate an estimated 21 cubic meters (27.5 cu yd) of solid waste per day.
Installation of a cafeteria waste compactor will result in an estimated 75% reduction in waste volume. The reduced waste volume will lead to a corresponding decrease in landfill disposal costs because the facility pays for disposal based on container volume, not weight. Assuming a 75% reduction due to compaction, the volume of cafeteria waste would become 5.25 cubic meters per day. An 18.3 cubic meter (24 cubic yard) capacity compactor would require disposal every 3days at current generation rates. This should be a sufficient removal frequency for odor and pest prevention.
A cost-benefit analysis for this example is shown below.
|Cost – Benefit Analysis for Trash Compactor Use*|
|Annual Cost Of Current Practice:
Materials – N/A
|Capital Project Costs –
Equipment – approximately $ 14,000 for 18.3 cubic m (24 cubic yd) Self-contained compactor (prices vary depending on selected capacity & features)
|Annual Project Costs –
Materials – N/A
|Expected Annual Savings (annual cost of current practice – annual project costs): $ 14,585||Payback (capital project costs/expected annual savings): 1.0 to 1.2 years.|
* Cost – Benefit Analysis Assumptions:
(1) Landfill disposal cost = $ 75 per 26 cubic meter (34 cubic yard) container.
(2) Current generation of non-compacted waste (after recycling) = 21 cubic m/day (27.5 cubic yd/day).
(3) Operating days = 260 days per year.
(4) Expected waste volume reduction = 75%.
(5) Labor and waste transportation costs are also expected to decrease – but have not been included.
The vendor information in the following table is presented as a starting point for contacting potential equipment manufacturers. No endorsement of any products manufactured by the listed vendors is intended or implied.
|Vendor Information/Implementation Assistance:|
|GK Industrial Refuse Sustems, 3207 C St. NE, Auburn, WA 98002, (253)735-5543, fax: (253)735-5882, email@example.com Contact: BruceGustavson
Marathon Equipment Co., distributed by Mark-Costello Co., 1145 Dominguez St., Carson City, CA 90746, (310)637-1851, Fax (310) 762-2330, Contact: Huge Gilliland
Balemaster, Division of East Chicago Machine Tool Corp., 980 Crown Court, P.O. Box 465, Crown Point, IN 46307, (219)663-4591, Fax (219)663-4525, Contact: Cornell Raab.
International Baler Corp., A Subsidiary of Waste Technology Corp., 5400 Rio Grande Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32254., (904)358-3812, Fax (904)358-7013, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Mooney Assoc., Inc., 1849 Fairhill Road, Allison Park, PA 15101, (412)367-2686, Fax (412)367-1015, email@example.com, Contact: Bruce mooney.
Logemann Brothers Co., 3150 W. Burleigh Street, Milwaukee, WI 53210-1999, (414)445-3005, Fax (414)445-1460, Contact:Larry Bifter
Calver Wire Co., Inc., P.O. Box 1167, Uniontown, PA 15401, 800-245-4042, Fax (724)438-5222, Contact: Joe Ahearn.
Midstates Wire, 510 South Oak Street, Crawfordsville, IN 47933, 800-428-0814, Fax (765)362-4143, Contact: Jim Dancy.
Harrisgroup, 2000 Clover Peach, Peach Tree City, Georgia 30269, 800-373-9131, Fax (770)631-7299, harreswaste.com, Contact: Coleen Helland.
|Recommended Action Plan:|
|Identify appropriate equipment location.|
|Contact vendor for compactor design/size/utility needs, place purchase order.|
|Install equipment per specifications.|
|Provide tra ining to facility staff on operation and maintenance of equipment.|
|Monitor results and check compactor regularly to make sure all recyclable materials are being diverted for recycling.|
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