Baler Differences - Horizontal vs Vertical

10th Jun 2022

Balers can be a valuable addition to your workplace if you are creating a significant amount of waste on the premises. Ensuring that waste is disposed of as cleanly as possible (including being recycled) is essential for business – whether from a financial, labour, ecological or a space saving perspective.

There are many benefits to using a baler for your waste materials. They create an easy and neat solution to storing your waste before it is collected (and recycled) saving you space for its storage, fewer vehicle movements (CO2), higher recycling levels, cleaner material streams and maximised rebates.

Balers work by enabling the depositing of the waste materials into the machinery which then compacts and shapes the waste into bales to enable you to store or stack them. These bales are then collected by your recycler.  Depending on space and volumes, flexible arrangements are very typical to maximise rebates or ensure space issues are considered. By creating bales of a standard size, it is easier for the recyclers to move them around and transport them – helping to reduce your business’s waste disposal costs.

There are two different kinds of balers for businesses to choose from – horizontal and vertical balers. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two, enabling you to choose the best model for your business.

Horizontal Balers

Horizontal waste balers work when the waste materials are loaded into the hopper. When it is full, it is compressed with a horizontal force and compacted, then tied off with wires before it is then ejected.

The advantages and disadvantages of horizontal balers

There are several advantages to horizontal balers for a business. These include:

  • Wider range – horizontal balers can be used for a range of different materials, including cardboard, textiles, aluminium cans, plastic pet bottles, paper, and dry waste.
  • Process larger amounts – compared to the vertical baler, the horizontal baler can process large amounts of waste in a short amount of time.
  • Convenience – can be used in conjunction with conveyors, shredders and air systems.
  • Easy to use – can be operated by smaller teams of people.

Some of the disadvantages of using a horizontal baler include:

  • Size – compared to a vertical baler, a horizontal baler uses up a significant amount of floor space (although it is not as high)
  • Price – horizontal balers can be more expensive than vertical balers

Vertical balers

Vertical balers work when the waste materials are put into the baler and a strong plate presses the waste down and compresses it until there is enough to shape it into a bale.  Once complete, the bale is tied off with banding or wire.

The advantages and disadvantages of vertical balers

There are several advantages to vertical balers in their workspace. These include:

  • Wide range – almost any kind of recyclable waste can be baled using a vertical baler. These include cardboard, plastic, metals, and plastic. There are also some other more specialised material balers available.
  • Size – Vertical balers can be very small in comparison to a horizontal baler and can still have excellent compaction levels
  • Space – a vertical baler takes up less floor space than a horizontal baler which can be very beneficial if the workplace has limited space.
  • Price – vertical balers can be a lot less expensive than horizontal balers
  • Movement of bales – most can be moved using sack trucks rather than forklifts
  • Power supply – many vertical balers just need a 13-amp socket rather than 3-phase electricity supply.  Some only need an air-line to operate

Compares to a horizontal baler, there are some disadvantages to a vertical baler. These include:

  • Sometimes non-standard size bales are created which can sometimes affect the willingness of collection companies to collect them.  Good recycling partners are essential and these are normally offered by good equipment suppliers.
  • Height – vertical balers can sometimes be a lot higher than a horizontal baler which can be a problem if vertical space is limited.

The main difference between a horizontal and a vertical baler is its shape. Being able to choose between the two enables you to pick the baler that is best suited to your workspace.

Choosing the best baler for your business

If you produce significant amounts of waste that needs to be baled for pick-up by recycling companies, you might need to get a baler. Deciding on whether to get a horizontal or vertical baler can depend on different factors:

  • The amount of space that you have available to you (both in floor space, and vertical space).
  • The amount of waste that you are expecting to create – a vertical baler would typically create about 8 – 10 bales each day, whereas a horizontal baler could typically produce significantly more.
  • The budget that you have – a vertical baler is typically a lot less expensive than a horizontal baler.
  • Power supply available in the area preferred

By balancing these four elements, you can then make the best decision about which baler is the most suitable for you and your business.

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