Sealed compaction key to keeping the lid on restaurant waste
The Tim Hortons restaurant in Hagersville, Ontario, is the busiest of Shaun Salverda’s six franchise locations. His employees are kept very busy meeting the needs of their clientele, which is often lined up inside the restaurant all the way to the front door, if not bumper to bumper in the drive-thru lane snaked around the outside of the building.
Located in nearby Woodstock, Ontario, Modern Waste Products specializes in the design, production and distribution of innovative solutions to waste management. The company`s flagship product is the BinPak Compactor, designed as a simple yet highly effective solution to bulky business waste disposal. Units are similar in size to a standard bin hold the equivalent of six standard dumpsters. With its built-in compaction capabilities, the sealed BinPak not only contains trash, odours and liquids inside, keeping out rodents, wasps and unauthorized dumpers, but compacts waste volume by up to 6:1 for fewer required truck pick-ups per month. And it is a technology created specifically with the needs of food and restaurant business owners in mind.
Salverda`s restaurant was an ideal location to test the benefits of the BinPak self-contained garbage compaction bin. From a health and safety standpoint, Salverda says, the BinPak proved itself after only eight months in operation.
“We’ve eliminated the possibility of anyone getting hurt lifting a bag of garbage over top and into a bin that’s five feet high,” he explains.
Prior to the installation of a BinPak on the site in May, 2012, employees taking out waste to the traditional bin had to reach over their heads to lift the heavy lid. Then they had to step back and swing heavy bags up, over and in.
Modern Waste Products`sealed BinPak unit is not loaded from the top as are traditional refuse bins. There is a front door located about two feet off the ground. For workers feeding the bin, secured compaction controls are conveniently located at the lockable front loading door. Once filled, the BinPak’s single electrical connection and auto re-latching lid result in quick emptying cycle times.
“It’s much easier to place a large bag of garbage into that, instead of trying to throw it over your head,” says Salverda, emphasizing that the staff’s welfare was the major motivator in adding the BinPak.
The ergonomic benefit of loading the BinPak from the front is enhanced by Salverda`s staff use of a four-wheeled wagon, which sits outside the restaurant’s back door until it is filled with about 10 bags of waste. It is then easily wheeled by a staff member to the BinPak. The bags can be loaded by one employee and then, with the press of a button, they are compressed. This process can occur up to three times during a busy day shift, and up to five times per 24 hours, says Salverda.
No doubt, he adds, it’s a vast improvement over his staff former method which involved lugging three or four bags at once across the parking lot, only to then have to heave them up and over. The BinPak system, he says, has resulted in reducing the number of trips to their on site waste container by up to 60 percent.
Initially, according to Modern Waste product representative David Carr, the Hagersville location was not achieving the ideal compaction ratio of about 6:1. He says that has since been enhanced with the introduction of dewatering units designed for this type of application. Placed at each work station behind the restaurant’s counter and located right beside the garbage, the units drain water from the coffee grounds and other food waste which reduces the weight and volume of what is disposed of inside the restaurant.
Compared to a vertical compactor or cardboard recycling baler, “the compaction ratio is higher with BinPak because it is a completely sealed unit,” says Carr. “The waste has nowhere to go but up against itself and ram up against the lid. A vertical compactor has a space between the ram and the waste in the bin.”
The BinPak at the Tim Hortons in Hagersville is powered by a buried electrical line that runs from a panel at the back of the restaurant, around the lot’s perimeter, to the bin site. During installation, Modern Waste Products says there was no disruption to the parking area or drive-thru.
After only eight months of use, Salverda reported the actual use of power to have been minimal.
“I try to monitor the bills and I couldn’t see any difference,” he said. “Make no mistake, though, this is first and foremost a matter of health and safety for a team comprised of people of various ages and physical conditions.”
Beyond the issues associated with excessive staff lifting and hauling of heavy garbage bags, Salverda says the potential for active rodents and bees as well as odours associated with exposed food refuse has almost been eliminated with their self-contained BinPak.
“I would have to suit up just to go outside to take the garbage out in warm weather because some people got stung here,” says employee Jennifer Davey. “Some staff members are allergic to bees, making the threat of stings an even more serious concern as an employer,” says Salverda.
“In our business, everything is very complex,” he says, “but the BinPak product is not. It’s easy to use for anybody here. The training is very simple.”
Salverda says his staff, in a matter of minutes, were up to speed on how to unlock the solid fence around the BinPak, open the BinPak front door, load in bags, secure the BinPak door, press the button to start the compaction process, and then close and lock the gate.
“I don’t think that any one of our team members could ever hurt themselves using the BinPak,” says Salverda. “Your staff will appreciate the simplicity and you will see a neater, cleaner establishment.”