Baler or Compactor | Which is right for your company?

A business that handles waste is a business that needs either a baler or compactor.

Using either a baler or compactor will help make your business run easier and reduce waste handling costs. Every company is striving to increase recycling, and having a baler or a compactor is the way to go.

The difficult decision is choosing what one to get. What is the difference between baler or compactor? How do you decide what one to get? What is the best one for your business? Here are the differences to help you choose the best fit for your needs and business.


Balers are machines that help pack large amounts of recyclable material into compact and smaller shape, allowing easier storage and shipment. In addition to this, they give companies another source of income. They are grouped into two categories: vertical baler (aka downstroke balers) and horizontal baler. See the difference between vertical and horizontal balers here. 


A baler is used to pack mainly recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, plastics, metal, etc. The materials are then condensed into bales for easy storage and transport. Eventually, these bales are brought to a recycling company for resale and reuse.



are used to reduce and compress large volumes of trash into a contained area. It can handle different types of waste to reduce its size and make it easier to handle and transport. There are different kinds of compactors, including food waste compactors, self- cleaning compactors, and polystyrene compactors.

Benefits of a baler are as follows:

  • Provide a tidier, cleaner work space environment
  • Reduce cost of waste disposal
  • Create additional earnings, depending on the material and volume of waste
  • Increase amount recycled

  • Be an example to others, including customers, that it is necessary to recycle

Benefits of a compactor are as follows:

  • Easier loading and transporting waste
  • Ideal for bulky waste that needs compacting
  • Bin tipping option available. This gives a potential reduction of manual handling.
  • Reduce costs for transport since the bales of the compactor take up less space
  • Self-cleaning compactors are available
  • Reduces overall number of trash pickups

What is best for you and your company?

With an understanding of both balers and compactors, you can determine what would be best for you. Both compactors and balers are great for saving money, helping the environment, and the transportation and handling of materials.

Speed-Tech Equipment offers a wide range of balers and compactors. Our balers include horizontal balers and vertical balers. Our compactors include stationary compactors, self-contained compactors, and vertical compactors.Need help choosing? Give Speed-Tech Equipment a call at 616-669-2142 or contact us! 

At Speed-Tech Equipment, our goal is to help people and businesses recycle and reduce waste by providing the right equipment for the job

Basic differences of each recycling balers

Balers are necessary to a recycling program. They help pack large amounts of recyclable material into compact and smaller shape, allowing easier storage and shipment. In addition to this, they give companies another source of income. They are grouped into two categories: vertical baler (aka downstroke balers) and horizontal baler.

Vertical Balers

Vertical balers are those that compress materials with a vertical, downward force and pressure. They are smaller than horizontal balers. Materials that are recyclable, like corrugated cardboard, plastics, and foam, are inserted into the baler. Once the chamber is full at a specified level, the ram or arm of the baler moves downward, crushing the waste. The machine bundles and ejects the crushed waste after they have been compacted. Vertical balers can process most of the same materials processed by horizontal balers


Advantages of Vertical Balers

  • Vertical balers tend to be cheaper than horizontal balers. They are usually one fifth or sometimes one tenth the price of horizontal balers. The reason for this is because they are smaller.
  • Vertical balers can handle a variety of recyclables, while horizontal balers can only handle a few specified materials. Some examples of waste vertical balers range from office paper to non-ferrous metals. You can purchase a specialized vertical baler, which can process things like aluminum to beverage containers.
  • Vertical balers take up less space than horizontal balers. They can be used where horizontal balers would be impractical.

Disadvantages of Vertical Balers

  • Smaller models of vertical balers may not produce bales that are “mill standard”. This makes it hard to sell to buyers.
  • Even though vertical balers are smaller than horizontal, they are taller and can be hard to find a place for them.
  • Vertical balers may not work for recyclables that have less elasticity when baled, like office paper or newspaper.

Horizontal Balers

Horizontal balers process waste by having it thrown into a hopper on top of the machine. This hopper is connected to a conveyor system. When the hopper is full, a ram or arm compresses the material with horizontal force until the bale is made. The bale is then tied off with wires and ejected from the machine.

horizontal baler

Advantages of Horizontal Balers

  • Horizontal Balers can handle large amounts of recycling each day. The bales they produce then are larger and more consistent in dense and weight.
  • Horizontal Balers can process a wide variety of recyclable materials. From aluminum to office paper, they can do it all.
  • Horizontal Balers can be used to your convenience. You have options of in-ground or above ground conveyor belts, shredders, and air systems. A machine likes this provide help to the consumer and requires less manpower to operate.

Disadvantages of Vertical Balers

  • Horizontal balers take up much more floor space. Some go up to 40 feet in length.
  • Horizontal balers are much more expensive than vertical balers, not including the conveyance, air, or shredding systems. Adding these accessories can increase the price even more

So how do you decide what baler you should buy? There are many variables that you must consider, but the main ones are as follows: The number of bales produced a day, how much money you can spend, and how much space available for the baler. Once you answer these questions, you will have a clear choice of what baler is right for you.

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