Like most industries, the recycling industry is not immune to popular myths that have perpetuated over time. While not all are harmful, recycling myths become exaggerated and create false perceptions that can lead to bad business decisions or negative environmental impacts. It is important to know the truth about waste handling and recycling processes and equipment so that we can all help to create a sustainable environment for generations to come.
These are three recycling myths that we would like to “debunk” for you:
1. All outdated juice, pop, or beer is thrown away – FALSE!
Out-of-date products can negatively affect branding, SKU’s, storage, and disposal processes. To just throw them into the waste stream creates huge liability issues for bottlers and distributors. It is in the best interest of beverage manufacturers to properly dispose of these products according to local regulations. To do this, the liquid needs to be removed from their aluminum or plastic containers and drained. The remaining residual commodities need to be recycled in an efficient manner.
This process can be both time consuming and expensive. Imagine the FTE’s and floor space required to manually dispose of out-of-date product and then sort and recycle small quantities of containers at a time!
Harmony has developed three unique beverage extraction baler solutions to help businesses with this exact problem. Depending on the size of the application, our BCB2003 Extract Pack, our PERF-SSHB, or our PERF-SSHB GEN2 are all designed to accept larger quantities of product, deliquify them into stainless steel reservoirs, and crush and bale the left over aluminum and plastic.
In all cases, our revolutionary equipment not only solves this dilemma, it adds a new source of revenue for the end user by creating consistent bales of valuable recyclable products!
2. When it comes to waste handling and recycling equipment, bigger is better – FALSE!
There are some instances where larger pieces of equipment like horizontal balers or self-contained compactors are the right solution for the job. But, it all depends on the needs of the end user and the application involved. That is why it is so important for businesses to know the right questions to ask a recycling equipment manufacturer before making their initial investment.
For example, a 20 HP motor is more powerful than a 10 HP motor, which is more powerful than a 5 HP motor. But, a machine only needs enough power to operate its pump efficiently. A more powerful motor than that is unnecessary, expensive, and will increase energy consumption over time.
In addition, bigger pieces of equipment create potential concerns with operational footprint and electrical service. Larger equipment takes up more space, and might create problems with safety, storage, delivery, and installation. They also have unique electrical requirements that may not match those of the existing building structure. Smaller options may still provide enough size and power to get the job done, but reduce the operational footprint, while using a standard electrical service.
An example of this can be seen in urban retail and apartment buildings that recycle cardboard waste. Although a larger vertical baler like a Harmony Ten-Sixty would be a perfect solution for recycling large quantities of cardboard into mill-sized bales, the efficient M42BC Vertical Cardboard Baler is easily delivered onto busy street levels and can be wheeled on casters through a 3′ x 7′ doorway. The standard electrical service makes it a virtual “plug and play” for any business. Sometimes smaller solutions are more suited for certain customer’s needs and specifications.
3. Recyclables are always pulled out of the waste stream by the haulers and end recyclers – FALSE!
Some people believe that haulers and landfill operators are required to separate out recyclables prior to eliminating waste. Some are also under the impression that by sorting out recyclables into curbside containers that they are sorted prior to disposal.
In both instances, this is not always the case. While it is good practice to sort out recyclables into separate containers, check with your local hauler to ask what is done with the commodities prior to final disposal in the landfill. If products are not fully recycled, look into what other methods of recycling are available in your local community.
For example, many civic groups or non-profit organizations have aluminum, paper, or plastic drop off locations that allow them to recycle these goods as a revenue source for their projects. Taking cardboard, cans, or milk jugs to these would ensure that they are being recycled and would help support these groups in the process.
Another part of this myth is that because a product has a recyclable symbol on the container it must be recycled and taken out of the waste stream. The truth is that false recycling symbols are sometimes added by manufacturers. If you are not sure, be sure to look them up online to verify their authenticity.
Harmony Enterprises prides itself on being a resource for businesses who choose to operate in a sustainable-minded manner. We manufacture quality balers, compactors, beverage extraction, and full product destruction equipment. We would love to chat with you and help you save time and money with your waste handling and recycling processes.