Highlander has provided waste management and recycling services to Arjo Wiggins since 2013. During that time, have pioneered innovations such as solar-powered compactors and “smart” alert compactors which text and/or email you when needing to be emptied. We have now combined both technologies and installed the world’s very first solar-powered “smart” compactor machine! With cost savings firmly in mind, we suggested the provision and installation of a new solar-powered “Auto-alert” compactor system, which alerts Highlander & Arjo staff whenever the compactor is ¾ full and requires emptying. This means that we only empty the compactor unit when we need to thus improving the cost-per-ton of each collection. The unit also provides electronic self-diagnosis. If any fault develops with the machine, the manufacturer can inform engineers in advance. Resulting in quicker machine repair times with advanced diagnosis and parts supplied ahead of the engineer’s visit.
The location where we hoped to place the machine could not economically support a power supply. So we used solar panels and marine batteries to ensure a readymade, free power source for the machine. All without having to spend tens of thousands of pounds in cabling and digging cable trenches. The machine also came with a side tipper unit which is designed to accommodate wheeled bins from size 240 litre to 1100 litre. Meaning waste can be collected from different departments within the Arjo site and brought to a central location for bin tipping and waste compaction which will result in reduced transport and disposal costs. The tipper system was also provided to restrict access to general waste disposal routes, to wheeled bins only. We have found that since the general waste open skip has been removed recycling rates have increased, again bringing costs down and improving revenues by way of rebate enhancements. Images of the machine are as below and they can be supplied anywhere in Scotland at competitive weekly rental costs:
Traditional compactor systems operate by a pressure switch activating, when the “back pressure” on the compactor ram reaches a certain level, which happens when the material starts to build up in the adjoining compactor container. All compactor machines have an illuminating ¾ (three quarter) light which comes on when the container is needing swapped over – the limitations of this system are that if the machine is in a remote area and no-one actually sees the ¾ light come on, no-one will in turn alert the waste contractor to come and change the container over – consequently, this will lead to the container being over-full and the compactor system coming to a complete stop. Even an employee at the factory who perhaps does notice the ¾ light is on but “forgets” to call the waste contractor in time, can inadvertently lead to the waste compactor becoming unavailable and potentially causing waste disposal issues – as well as potential lost production at your business. Traditional compactor systems – while clearly useful – definitely do have their limitations………………until now!
As well as incorporating the old illuminating light systems, we now have an “auto-alert” system in place for the new Arjo waste compactor, which transmits an e-mail and / or text message to nominated operators (up to 7 is possible) who can then take appropriate action. Whether the action is to simply exchange the container over at ¾ full, or a fault has developed with the machine meaning a repair or maintenance is required, this alert system allows an interactive experience with the compactor machine meaning improved operation efficiency all-round, and we have already seen improvements – the average collection efficiency has improved 25%!
The entire paper contract of Arjo Wiggins was tendered 18 months ago and the key to providing solutions was the ability to handle a wide range of waste paper grades. The tender then evolved to the handling of non-recyclable general waste encompassing almost 1000 tons of waste materials every month.
Our solutions derived from a careful audit of the waste streams at the operations with the two main criteria of cost savings and landfill diversion central to our mindset. Our final proposals targeted the separation of waste at the point of generation, into added value categories that could allow Arjo to attain the best possible commercial returns possible.
We decided to supply various compactor machines at the operation to tidy up the disposal method and to enhance the payloads of the materials collected. We also implemented a trailer collection service for items that could be efficiently and safely loaded by way of reels, pallets or cages – the main driver here was to reduce handling and increase collection efficiency by removing loads of up to 27 tons per movement as opposed to the payloads of circa 5 tons when removing everything by way of bog standards waste containers.
Now, instead of up to 12 waste containers a day leaving the premises, we have reduced this to 5 containers a day and up to 4 trailers per day. During this time the operation has experienced significant growth which would have been very difficult to manage and prohibitively expensive using the old systems. We estimate that waste costs have stayed the same as they were 18 months ago despite mill throughput and landfill tax increasing. In tandem, rebates for materials have increased by about 10% simply by implementing efficiency measures and by finding new markets for niche paper grades such as deep-dyed colours, redundant cardboard cores and heavily coated waste papers.