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Baling to boost revenue

Residential building finds simple, cost-effective solution to clear up space

The Orwak 5070 is a small, top-loading baler  that can be extended to form a multi-chamber  system for sorting and baling diverse material.
The Orwak 5070 is a small, top-loading baler that can be extended to form a multi-chamber system for sorting and baling diverse material.

Running a recycling program in a large residential building can be a labour-intensive and space-consuming process. Take cardboard recycling: unlike single-family homes with curbside pickup, a large apartment building can accumulate hundreds of boxes each week, which can quickly overwhelm maintenance and storage areas.  The Orion, a luxury condominium on West 42nd Street in New York City, found a simple solution – compacting and baling its boxes.   

A space challenge
The Orion has 60 floors of apartments, as well as retail space. The building superintendent, Danny SiFonte, was grappling with the age-old problem: where to store the building’s trash, particularly bulky cardboard boxes, and how to reduce trash haulage costs.   

Garbage day in New York is not easily missed. Given that 42nd Street is a major tourist thoroughfare in the heart of Manhattan’s theatre district, The Orion wanted to minimize the amount of trash its building was putting out at the curb. SiFonte realized that the cardboard boxes were not only creating an eyesore on the street, they were taking up space inside and were expensive to haul away. In a building with 551 resident apartments, every time a resident makes a purchase or has something delivered, he or she needs to dispose of a box. 

“We found that we were using valuable real estate on our lower floors to simply store boxes. That space is worth far more rented out to a commercial entity,” says SiFonte.  

Reducing bulk 
Orwak USA is TOMRA’s compaction unit. Orwak’s authorized dealer, Premier Facility Management, introduced SiFonte to the Orwak 5070. The 5070 is a top-loading baler that both crushes and bales boxes. It can condense up to 100 boxes into an easy-to-maneuver bale. A building porter can simply pile boxes into the machine, compact them with a flip of a switch, and then create a neat bale that can be easily shifted from the machine to a recycling stack. Bale sizes are adjustable and the machine comes with a dolly so the bales can be easily maneuvered.

The 5070 has a dual-chamber, so the Orion says they can use one side for cardboard and the other side for plastic packaging, as needed. If the building’s recyclable waste increases, the machine has the capacity to add more chambers. The unit runs on single phase power which makes it very easy to install, and has a capacity up to 50 kg for cardboard, and up to 80 kg for plastic.  

More space means more revenue
In the end, baling the Orion’s cardboard saved 3,000 square feet of valuable space on the building’s ground floor, as well as time and labour. They rented out the newly freed-up space to a green grocer, adding considerably to the management company revenues.

The Orion is saving thousands each month in bulk removal costs by reducing the number of pickups. In fact, the recycling processor picks up the cardboard for free, and pays the building for the material, for a net gain. The 5070 is also helping The Orion stay compliant as city recycling regulations become more stringent.

“We are keeping our building – and the city – clean, increasing our recycling rate and saving money at the same time,” says SiFonte. “The Orwak 5070 is helping us create more rentable space in our building. In Manhattan, space is money. It’s a win-win.” J. Mark Lanning is Senior Vice President of Sales, TOMRA North America. 

Topline Recycling Equipment is a  Canadian-based distributor for Orwak.