Somerset West is situated approximately 50 km east of Cape Town in South Africa. The town has 30,000 inhabitants, some of which shop at one of the town’s SPAR supermarkets, where more than 700 customers fill their baskets with groceries every day. As a result, the supermarket generates ca. 100-130 kg. of cardboard, paper and plastic waste a day and until recently, handling it all was neither simple nor fast.
“Usually, the cardboard boxes were emptied and stacked in a corner of the room. This eventually took up so much space that it became difficult for us to handle new deliveries,” says the supermarket’s Receiving Manager Leonard Carelse, who adds that moving the waste outside was not an option.
“We have often experienced that the empty boxes were stolen by vagrants who used them to conceal stolen goods, so we kept it inside to avoid problems until the waste was collected,” he says and adds: “Every day our waste collector would drop off 4-5 men, who would spend the entire day separating plastic and cardboard waste and cutting up and flattening the cardboard, so it could be collected in the evening,” continues Mr. Carelse.
In 2009 the supermarket installed a Bramidan B4 baler, which immediately proved to be a good investment.
“Before, we had waste lying everywhere, but now things are different. The baler is placed strategically, so our employees can dispose of the cardboard and plastic immediately. The cardboard goes directly into the baler and the plastic is collected in large bags. After purchasing the baler, everything moves faster,“ says Leonard Carelse.
Especially the fact that the baler is easy and safe to use has impressed the new owners.
“I would like to recommend Bramidan for making the baler safe to use. There are only two buttons and an emergency button. These simple features made it easy to introduce the baler to our staff. Now everyone knows that all they have to do is to put empty cardboard into the baler, close the door, press the white button and walk off,” says Leonard Carelse.
Source of income, rather than a cost
Not only does the baler help optimise the daily operation of the shop, it has also made it possible to move the waste outside, enabling the supermarket to keep the goods reception tidy. Also, the waste handler’s job has become much easier.
“Today we leave the bales outside, as they cannot be stolen. Bales also reduce costs for the waste collector, as he does not have to compress the waste himself anymore. Besides, we do not pay for collection. Instead we can sell our waste for recycling, turning it into a source of income, rather than a cost,” concludes Mr. Carelse.
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