Single or Dual Ram: how to choose the right baler for your recycling plant

Can the recycling chain be made more efficient and sustainable? Once again, Bottaro chooses to talk about sustainability from a very specific point of view: that of iron wire and the recycling plants in which it is used.

In this article we will discuss:

  • The recycling market is at a crossroads
  • Recycling and environmental responsibility: a combination that doesn’t stop at waste sorting
  • Double ram baler: small recycling centres choose versatility
  • Single ram baler: large recycling centres opt for productivity
  • The “domestic” option: vertical balers
  • Ultimately, single ram or dual ram balers?

The recycling market is at a crossroads

Over the years, Bottaro has been confronted with many industrial realities related to the recycling and compaction of materials derived from separate waste collection. This “field experience” has led the company to realise an important fact: the recycling market is fundamentally habitual.

It is very difficult, in fact, for a company in the sector that is satisfied with a particular type of compacting baler to change it in favour of another, even if it is more performing.

A trend that is difficult to disrupt, but which today inevitably clashes with other priorities, linked to corporate responsibility, energy-saving and environmental sustainability.

And that’s not all, because we must also consider the drive of technological innovation that allows plants to continuously evolve and improve their performance in terms of efficiency and impact on the consumption of electricity and essential materials such as wire.

Recycling and environmental responsibility: a combination that doesn’t stop at waste sorting

There are currently two types of compacting balers in the recycling market: Single Ram and Dual Ram. Choosing one or the other is, of course, not a decision to be taken lightly, as the success of a business, large or small, and its greater or lesser attention to environmental issues may depend on it.

And, it goes without saying that, when it comes to recycling plants, the environmental responsibility component is a value that cannot be questioned, let alone neglected.

In fact, the sustainability process, which starts from the simple separate waste collection made by each of us, must not be resolved by the recycling plant itself but must be supported by actions, choices and policies that exponentially increase its effect. These actions, as we shall see, include a conscious choice of the most suitable baler for baling paper, plastic, hay and other materials.

Evaluating the pros and cons of these types of balers, therefore, becomes crucial for a recycling centre, not only in terms of operational efficiency but also in terms of environmental protection and social responsibility towards the community.

So let’s try to understand how to choose the right baler for your specific needs.

Dual ram baler: small recycling centres choose versatility

The dual ram baler is a system that makes versatility its strong point.

The use of special high-strength steel and a very closely spaced tying (every 20 cm) allows any type of material to be packed without having to stop the system to set it to new specifications each time.

The advantage of this baler is that one roll of wire can be placed in it at a time, with a considerable saving in wire needed to run it, compared to the single ram baler, in which 10 rolls must necessarily be placed.

Of the two, the double ram baler is the one that has historically been most appreciated and used in the North American and Canadian markets, as it is well suited to the type of day-to-day work of local companies, which require smaller facilities.

This is the case, for example, in some smaller towns and villages, often far from large urban centres. Here, small family-run companies need to be able to serve the entire population, no matter how small. They, therefore, prefer to use a baler that is able to pack, compact and dispose of as wide a range of materials as possible.

To meet the needs of this particular market, which mostly uses double ram balers, an equally particular steel wire is, of course, needed. Bottaro offers Hi-Tensile galvanised wire, the strongest on the market, designed for the toughest baling applications due to its strength and elongation.


Bottaro iron wire for single ram balers


Single ram baler: large recycling centres opt for productivity

The single ram baler is very popular in the European, Asian, African, Indian, Australian and South American markets, countries where large recycling plants value aspects other than versatility, such as easier plant maintenance, much lower operating costs and higher productivity, guaranteed by the 10 reels of wire, used simultaneously, and tying every 60-80 cm.

In addition, advanced technology now allows balers with a computerised control panel that enables easy setting of the plant according to the material to be baled.

It is precisely North America, as we have seen, which is so fond of double ram balers, that has been able to revalue the single ram baler in recent years, thanks to trade fairs and the internet, which have acted as “awareness-raisers”.

Demand in the US has increased, of course, within large companies who, precisely because of the high consumption, have found the single ram’s improved energy performance to be a more suitable product for their needs.

The single ram baler, in fact, makes it possible not only to optimise energy and material consumption but also to improve economies of scale during purchasing. Let’s see how:

  • Consumption: by using high-strength steel, the dual ram baler has many more ties (one every 20 cm). This results in greater use of wire and greater energy expenditure. Not to mention that high-tensile steel not only has to be galvanised and therefore has higher ecological costs but also costs more than the black-annealed wire used in the dual ram baler, with which there are also fewer ties (one every 60-80 cm).
  • Economies of scale: the higher productivity of the single ram baler, due to having 10 reels at work at the same time, brings with it a decisive advantage in terms of material cost savings. By investing in a larger quantity of wire, this material can be purchased from suppliers at lower prices.

Bottaro, which is, of course, one of the main suppliers of these companies, offers its coils of black-annealed wire in 1,000 kg or 500 kg coils for dual ram balers.


Bottaro iron wire for double ram balers


The “domestic” option: vertical balers

There is no doubt that small and large recycling centres do the bulk of the work when it comes to bringing materials and waste back to life, yet this is an endeavour that does not only involve companies in the sector but starts much earlier.

Supermarkets, shopping centres, other companies and even apartment blocks and individual citizens become key players in recycling. But the accumulation of packaging such as plastic, paper and cardboard can become very voluminous in these cases, and the consequence is that garbage trucks end up filling up quickly, thus having to increase loading and unloading trips. And if the trips increase, so does the diesel consumed and the time spent. More than a waste of resources, in short.

The solution to this problem is, once again, balers.

Vertical balers, in fact, are small and compact and make it possible to reduce the weekly waste, of commercial activities or, as we have seen, of entire apartment blocks, facilitating waste disposal and allowing the collection trucks to load rubbish that is already pressed and therefore less bulky.

It is no coincidence that these balers are often provided on loan for use by the very same companies that collect the waste, which usually also provide the wire necessary for compacting it.

There are, however, cases in which the companies directly purchase the vertical baler and consequently also the necessary wire. For all these situations, Bottaro offers its single-loop bale ties, which is ideal for vertical balers. Single loop bale ties are, in fact, double-loop bars of soft, hard or black galvanised wire, which hook up quickly, guaranteeing high strength and ease of use.

In short, vertical balers represent a reduced, “at home” version of industrial single and dual ram balers. And while on vertical balers there is no doubt as to their intended use, on industrial balers, as we have seen, the market is divided.


Bottaro iron wire for vertical presses


Ultimately, single ram or double ram balers?

It will be clear: there is no single answer to the question in the title. The most suitable baler for your recycling centre must be chosen carefully and consciously.

In what market do you operate? What is the size of the plant? How many different types of materials are recycled there?

Questions to ask yourself before choosing between the versatility of single ram balers and the right balance between purchase cost, maintenance and profit from their use of dual ram balers. Not forgetting, of course, the environmental impact.

Precisely in this respect, Bottaro is committed every day to the difficult task of making partners and customers aware of the issues of environmental sustainability, energy-saving and recycling. In our blog, for example, we dedicate space to these topics by delving into very concrete aspects, one of which is the true cost of a green supply chain and the implications for entrepreneurs and customers (read “The costs and benefits of a sustainable production chain: the Bottaro outlook”).

A small contribution to making citizens and municipal and national administrations increasingly aware of the environment.

Because while recycling teaches us that sorting is important, the real difference is in people’s awareness, “education”, knowledge and sensitivity.

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