How to Properly Use a Baler and Compactor in Your Business

In all aspects of business, success largely depends on choosing the right tools and using them properly. Waste management and recycling become a serious matter especially when you are running a business that generates large volumes of waste.

When it comes to waste management equipment, balers and compactors are popular for their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, if you want to get the most out of this handy equipment, you need to know how to use it properly!

What’s the Difference Between a Baler and a Compactor? 

Before anything else, you need to determine which equipment is the best for your business. Whether this is a baler or a compactor primarily depends on our specific needs. Both are efficient and effective if used properly. Knowing the difference between a baler and compactor is important in order to make the right choice for your business. 

The objective of both compactors and balers is to minimise the volume of waste and recyclables. Both use compression to do the job. However, the type of compression is different in these two different types of machines. It’s important to understand the type of waste your business produces so you can make the right decision. 


  • Balers bundle up plastic, paper, cardboard, and metal. 
  • They pick up bulk waste material and compress it into compact bales for convenient transportation and stacking. These materials are recycled later on. 
  • Once compressed, you can use high-quality baling twine to securely bind the bales.  
  • The size and shape of balers vary. Popular types are semi-auto horizontal, vertical, and stockroom balers. 

Benefits of Balers 

  • Fast and efficient material management.
  • They use less space for processing setup and recycling bins.
  • They increase the quantity of material that is recycled, lowering waste disposal costs.  
  • Baled material is easy to handle.


Instead of compressing waste into bales, a compactor compresses it into a container. Once filled, the container is replaced with a new container. The filled container is taken to a waste management processing site. Like balers, compactors also come in different shapes and sizes. 

Benefits of Compactors 

  • The volume of scattered waste is reduced, making it easier to handle. 
  • Waste processing areas are reduced. 
  • It makes it easier for staff to collect compressed waste.

The Right Choice for your Business 

What are the sustainability goals of your business or industry? Does your business produce more recyclables or more waste? Answers to these questions will help you select the right equipment for your business. Some large businesses might require both types of equipment, if they are producing large quantities of waste as well as recyclables. Remember this simple rule – a baler for efficient recycling, while a compactor is for efficient waste disposal. 

Proper Handling of Balers and Compactors 

Both types of waste management equipment are extremely useful, but you should be cautious as mishandling these machines can be extremely dangerous and even fatal. It is essential that managers and responsible staff are aware of the general as well as industry-specific safety standards for balers and compactors.

Here are some important safety rules for all businesses using balers or compactors:

  • Employers are responsible for providing safety instruction materials and training. These instructions must cover safe operational procedures for service, cleaning, use, repair, and maintenance of the equipment. 
  • Employers must ensure the installation of exclusively-designed machine guards to keep workers from approaching the equipment while it is operating. A compactor must never be allowed to operate without proper machine guards. 
  • There must be tag-out or lock-out procedures to stop or reverse the compression ram in case of an emergency. 
  • Warning signs must be properly displayed for employees to let them know what they must do or avoid when using a baler or a compactor. 
  • Employers must provide proper training on how to safely clear of a jam, i.e. disconnect the power and power down the machine. 
  • Employers must install physical barriers and safety harnesses to prevent workers from leaning over or slipping into feeding chutes. 
  • Only authorized workers can operate balers and compactors. They should have a passcode to access the equipment as well as have the proper training to operate it. 
  • Employers must ensure timely service, repair, and maintenance, and inspection of the equipment by certified technicians. 

Responsibilities of Employees when Using Balers and Compactors: 

  • Follow safety precautions as per the training they are given 
  • Strictly follow all warning signs posted around the machines 
  • Immediately report any issues, such as if machine guards or safety barriers are not properly installed 
  • Never try fixing the machine yourself. Report any malfunctions and leave it for certified technicians to check and repair. 
  • Always wear safety gadgets including earplugs, goggles, a hard hat, and gloves while working around operating a compactor or baler.

As an employer, you are responsible for the safety of your employees and contractors working with the machines on your business’ premises. Always follow the industry-specific guidelines to avoid accident or injury. Compactors and balers are cost-effective and efficient but careless handling can lead to huge problems! 

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