Is a compactor right for you?
With shipping costs consuming much of a small depot program’s recycling budget, operators need to consider alternative ways to manage these costs. For programs that ship numerous loads or haul recyclables over long distances, compactors can reduce hauling costs by as much as 60-80%. CIF’s new Depot Compactor Guide new Depot Compactor Guide is the first step in finding out whether the compactor shoe will fit you.
With CIF funding, several programs across the province have implemented compactor units in their Blue Box recycling programs. The Guide compiles findings from these projects, offering ‘how-to’ guidance for when to use compactors, what to consider during installation and operations, how much to budget for purchase and maintenance, and many other valuable key learnings picked up over the years.
Compactor cost savings and more
In addition to proven savings on hauling, some of the other key benefits observed are:
- Cleaner safer site: Ground level access to a closed container eliminates litter and protects staff, residents and animals from falling into the bins and injuring themselves,
- Smaller carbon footprint: Fewer shipments means fewer trucks on the road, reducing GHG emissions, and
- Lower demands on staff: Remote monitoring devices on equipment automate the compaction process and signal staff when containers are full and ready to be shipped.
What about solar?
A common question CIF staff often hear is, “Should I consider a solar powered compactor?” The answer… “sometimes!”
Compactors hooked up to the hydro grid via a three phase 230 volt connection are the standard for a reason – low cost and reliability. If a municipality does not have access to three phase, and the costs to get connected are prohibitive, other options must be considered. As a side note, if there is no access to three phase (even if there is access to a single phase 110 volt connection) likely a battery bank will likely be required to provide the necessary charge to cycle the compaction unit efficiently.
Solar can be effective in providing energy to the batteries when conditions are good. But, we live with low light Canadian winters, so, if solar is being considered be sure to budget for a back-up energy source (i.e. a generator) for cold and rainy days. And plan to clean snow and other debris from the panels to ensure the cells can capture all of that free energy when the sun is shining.
Contact CIF Staff
CIF staff is always ready to help. We encourage you to contact any member of the team to discuss your issues and questions.