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What’s the difference between a compactor and a baler?

As compactors and balers are both designed to reduce the volume of waste, if you are new to this area, it’s easy to be a bit confused by the difference. We thought it would be a good idea to look into the kinds of waste each piece of equipment is best suited to deal with.

The difference is actually straightforward. If you have recyclable materials, you need a baler; if you are dealing with large volumes of general waste, you need a compactor.


Sending rubbish to landfill is an expensive process. Your company will be charged not just for the volume of waste that goes into landfill, but also for the number of journeys it needs to transport it there. So it makes sense to try and reduce the overall volume by compacting it onsite.

Compacted waste takes up less space which means you won’t need as many lorry loads and your landfill costs will be less because of decreased volumes.

Compactors are also suitable for food waste.

Depending on your needs, you can have a static or portable compactor. Portable compactors are perfect for events, such as festivals, that produce a lot of waste. Static compactors are ideal for companies that produce large amounts of waste.


Balers are ideal for dry, recyclable materials. If you have a lot of cardboard, paper, plastics, metals etc which are recyclable – maybe even saleable – a baler will help by compressing them and packing them into bales that are easier to store and transport.

A baler can help you create an extra revenue stream by selling your waste to a recycling plant. Balers take up a significantly smaller amount of space than storing the materials loose, enabling you to save on the costs of taking it away.

For small to medium amounts of waste, we’d recommend using vertical balers; for large amounts of waste, horizontal ones.

We will be very happy to advise you on the size and model of either compactors or balers that would be best suited to your company’s needs. Please contact us for more information.

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