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Knowledge Base // Waste Industry

Baler vs Compactor: Which Is Right For Your Business

Read to learn about the differences between balers and compactors and the steps you should take to determine which one is right for your business.

Shelby Bell | July 9, 2019

As a business owner or facility manager, you know having the right tools is important for getting a project done in the most efficient way possible. The same is true when it comes to managing waste and recycling. Many businesses who generate large volumes of waste and recyclables use balers or compactors to make the process of managing those materials more efficient and cost-effective. So how do you know which piece of equipment to choose? Read on to learn about the differences between balers and compactors and the steps you should take to determine which one is right for your business.

Baler vs. Compactor: What's the difference?

If you have a business that produces significant volumes of waste or recyclables, you may have considered purchasing a baler or compactor to help make managing the materials easier. Each machine can be a great resource for your business, but it's important to know the difference between the two:

The main similarity between a baler and a compactor:
They both reduce the volume of materials through a compression process

The main difference between between a baler and a compactor:
They process different materials


Before determining which machine will be most effective for your business, you must understand your business' needs and the types of materials your business generates. Below is a detailed overview of each piece of equipment to give you an idea of which one is ideal for your business:


What is a baler?

 Balers are used for baling recyclable materials like cardboard, paper, plastic, and metal for bulk pickup. These machines compress the recyclables into compact bales, which can be easily stacked and transported for recycling. Balers come in different sizes to accommodate your business' needs, such as: vertical balers, semi-auto horizontal balers, and stockroom balers. The benefits of using a baler include:

1. Minimizing time spent managing the materials.
2. Requiring less space for recycling bins and creating a cleaner work environment.
3. Increasing the amount of materials your business recycles, thereby reducing waste disposal costs.
4. Easy handling and servicing of baled materials.


What is a compactor?

Compactors are most often used by businesses who generate significant amounts of waste. The machine compacts waste materials into a container. When the container is full, it is 'swapped out' with a new one and the full container is transported to a landfill site or processing facility. Compactors are available in a variety of sizes and can be customized to meet your businesses specifications. The benefits of using a compactor include:

1. Reducing the volume of bulky waste before it's picked up by the hauler.
2. Saving space on site, making waste collections easier for staff.
3. Reducing transportation, collection, and disposal costs.


Which Equipment Will Work Best for your business?

Choosing whether a baler or compactor will work best for your business depends on the materials your business generates the most of and what your sustainability goals are. If your business generates high amounts of recyclables and your goal is to improve recycling rates, then a baler will enable your business to recycle more and spend less. On the other hand, if your business produces significant amounts of waste and your goal is to reduce it, then using a compactor to compress the materials will do the job and help reduce disposal costs!


We can help you choose the right container

After evaluating your business' goals and determining whether a baler or compactor will be best for your business, RoadRunner will help you find the most affordable and reasonable selections. Or, if you didn't find what you're looking for, explore our other dumpster & container rental options and get pricing today. If you have any thoughts or questions, leave us a comment below. Thank you for reading!



Let's get the conversation started on how to drive recycling and cost savings for your business.