The Orwak 3115 Baler
This week we took delivery of an Orwak 3115 baler to take care of our plastic and cardboard waste. Up to now, we’ve had one of those large wheeled bins which was emptied on a weekly basis. So about £40-50 per month, rising in the winter time as the amount of cardboard to be recycled increases. The Orwak costs twice as much at £100 per month, but there’s more to this decision than purely commercial cost pressures.
1) Convenience: During the busiest times of year there is pressure on the recycling companies often leading to missed collections. This creates a problem in the warehouse as the area allocated for recycling is filled in a day. Miss one collection it’s a problem, miss 2 and it’s becoming awkward, miss 3 as has happened and we have a problem. The infrastructure of the recycling companies struggles under the pressure, they’re used to a routine and when you change that routine, communication can suffer, machines break down. People are doing their best, but we are the ones who end up struggling to work around the fall out. Having a baler means it never reaches a stage where we are are struggling.
2) A System of ownership at work: With the Orwak, we create an internal system of working, which ensures that never again can there be pallets of cardboard waiting to be taking away. Instead at the end of each day we fill our baler and crush it. Since we are doing it ourselves, the emphasis is on us to ensure that the cardboard is clean. Plastics and papers are removed, leaving us with less than a bag of rubbish to remove at the end of a week of trading.
3) The rarity value of an increasing law of return:
The theory is that under the old system, we were penalised for being busier because it would cost more to remove the cardboard and waste generated, whereas with the baler this is not the case. Indeed because we are paid per ton of cardboard, this cost becomes one of those rare things an Inverse Variable Cost. This is unusual and creates intrigue.
Our first thoughts on this machine after the initial hesitation regarding the increase in cost is that we believe we will be better off in approximately 2 years time than if we were slavishly sticking to what we had always done in the past. In the meantime we are happy to subsidise its existence on the basis of the advantages it brings in terms of our operational activity. We’ve made a decision to get one before we really need one. Money talks and its still cheaper to use bins, but the cost difference is sufficiently low enough for us to say its worth making the jump now.
We’re happy that we’re limiting our commercial footprint on the planet, but the truth is its just another one of those challenges that we think will be fun to try and achieve as business people. What’s the smallest amount of waste we can produce as a business which has to go to landfill? A baler in terms of this objective is really just the 1st step, so it’s a journey we’ll keep you filled in on.