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[greenyes] Re: compacting plastic bottles
Title: Message

Hello Corri,

Speaking as a former rural MRF operator, I'd expect one to realize relatively low gains in density when compacting bottles using a standard rolloff compactor, especially of the break-away kind.  A precrusher or auger-based model such as the ones pictured in the following links would be much more effective, although much pricier (these units approach the cost of a small closed-end baler).

Rolloff trucks are such overkill to haul a material like plastic bottles that can make a bag of feathers seem heavy.  Something more fiscally realistic might be just to collect the plastic bottles in a large cage-body utility trailer (or agricultural wagons in a rural area- I had great results hauling plastics and UBCs in 70 cubic yard cotton wagons behind a pickup truck!).Interestingly enough, I had fewer bee problems in cage-body collection bins (residue can quickly evaporate) than in fully enclosed units (where liquids linger and it's easier for bugs to congregate).

If you have access to a rearloading compactor truck that has a container winch, 12+ yard rearloading dumpsters would be an economical collection method that should provide better density than a standard rolloff compactor, and gets away from the hassles of bin swapout or two-way hauling.  A frontloader truck wouldn't provide as much density, but offers fast loading and higher volume capacity.  The ultimate plastics collection truck would have to be a 'vacuum Twister' unit, which is a purpose-built truck that vacuums up stockpiled plastics and compacts them through an extrusion auger that removes memory from the bottles while retaining their individual identity.  (slides 11-14 of the following linked presentation)

Of course, the preceding mention of any specific manufacturer's product should be in no way construed as an endorsement, but only to illustrate representative designs.

Good Luck,

Jay Donnaway
Solid Waste Policy Analyst
Oregon Dept of Environmental Quality
Land Quality Division
811 SW Sixth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-1390
Fax: 229-6977


Hello fellow recyclers,

Does anyone have experience with creating loads of plastic bottles in a s= stationary or break-away compactor unit? It would be for plastic beverage= bottles.

I am wondering if beverage residue has turned bad and smelled or attracte= d wasps/bees. Also how easy it was to compact and haul.

Thanks for sharing... I will share research results if anyone asks.

Corri Beth Gottesman

3R Consulting

Recycle Reduce Reuse

tel: 215-753-6553 fax 215-753-6533



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