Moree Plains Shire Council’s Mark Johns explains how Wastedrive’s Harris Badger Baler is facilitating operational productivity and effective resource recovery in the region.
With a gross regional product of more than $750 million, Moree Plains Shire is one of the most agriculturally productive local government areas in Australia.
Large scale cereal crops and cotton provide export industries for the region, while sheep, cattle, oil seeds, olives and pecan nuts contribute significantly to the local and national economy.
To protect its natural environment, More Plains Shire Council takes a proactive approach to waste management – operating 10 waste and recycling facilities across NSW’s North West Slopes region.
Council’s largest centre, the Moree Waste Management Facility, provides a range of services including general and green waste disposal, scrap metal and concrete recycling, a community recycling centre and a drumMUSTER compound.
Landfill Operator Mark Johns, who has been working with Moree Plains Shire Council for over 15 years, says he and the wider waste team are committed to boosting the region’s resource recovery rates. An effective way to achieve that, he adds, is through community engagement and education.
While education takes many forms, Johns highlights the importance of seeing processes firsthand. He explains that council’s Harris Badger Baler, which is positioned in the middle of the Moree Waste Management Facility, gives residents a real time glimpse of resource recovery in action.
“When the public drops off their waste they can see the baler running. This is a great way to teach them about the waste and recycling process, and why it’s important to source separate their material,” he says.
Moree Plains Shire Council purchased the Badger from authorised Harris equipment distributor Wastedrive 10 years ago. In that time, Johns says he’s watched the baler accelerate a more streamlined, economical and efficient recovery process.
Before acquiring the Badger, Moree Plains operated a standard compactor.
While compaction rates were adequate, Johns says the process was relatively slow, with the added hindrance of fly away waste.
“When we introduced the Badger baler, it was unbelievable. We can bale a full truck load in half an hour,” he says.
With roughly three and half bales to a load, that equates to three tonnes baled every 30 minutes.
“There’s no way we could compact the way this machine does,” Johns says.
The Badger is a narrow-box, two ram baler, which Johns explains provides quality, efficiency and reliability at an economical price.
The Badger’s uni-body construction design gives the baler the added strength and rigidity needed to handle difficult materials.
Additionally, the baler’s widened stance works to minimise flexing during the baling cycle, while a laser position system for all ram and bale exit door movements provides reliable operations.
Suitable for processing a range of materials including solid waste, plastics, cans, white goods and cardboard, the baler comes equip with a smart knife system that works to eliminate downtime.
The Badger features a total control user interface terminal, which includes a multi-function touch screen display with up to the second diagnostic and production information.
Johns explains that the baler effectively runs itself, thereby producing a safer and cleaner working environment for his team.
“It’s really easy to operate and it’s great for the environment because the bales are so tight, which reduces space and also means blow away waste isn’t flying off everywhere,” he says.
“With the compactor, lose bits of waste would fly around, and this is a really windy area, so we’d have two or three people working all day to pick everything up.
“Since using the Badger baler we’ve saved all that time.”
According to Johns, Wastedrive recently fitted the baler with a new head Accent 470 Wire Tie, which has further improved the waste management facility’s operations due to the fully removable parts cartridge.
Established in 1995, Wastedrive is committed to not only providing high performance products, but considering all the details of a machine’s intended and future use. As such, Johns says the Wastedrive team are always on hand to assist with any maintenance or queries.
“We can ring them up at any time and ask questions, plus, they come out here every six months to service the machine and talk us through any new developments,” he says.
“They’re a great company to work with and are really good with backup.”
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