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As the plant manager of a facility with a Self-Contained Compactor, you need to be conscious of how fully you pack your machine to avoid overweight compactor issues. You want to get the most out of your compactor to avoid “hauling air” while ensuring that you abide by the DOT weight regulations that your hauler needs to follow. Wet waste tends to be significantly heavier than dry waste, so a compactor that’s too full can cause problems like pricey overweight charges and may even interrupt your operations if the waste compactor is too heavy for a normal garbage truck to lift. To optimize your waste compaction ratio and avoid overweight compactor issues you should consider 3 things:

Compactor’s System Pressure

Most waste compactors assess fullness based on system pressure. When the waste compactor’s hydraulics reaches peak pressure, a pressure switch is activated. This informs the programmable logic controller (PLC) that the compactor is full. The PLC then shuts down the compactor until it is either reset or emptied. The manufacturer sets the compactor’s system pressure. This is set based on national averages along with what the machine’s hydraulic system and components can handle. You should never turn up a compactor’s system pressure, but there are instances where it makes sense to have your service provider turn it down. This is most common in cases where the material loaded into the compactor is especially dense and heavy. Examples of this would be meat waste from manufacturers or food waste from a grocery store . Lowering the system pressure would create a lower standard of fullness. This would shut down the compactor earlier and prevent overloading.

IMPORTANT: Your service provider is the only one certified to adjust your compactor’s system pressure. Never adjust this yourself.

Compactor’s Size

When you are using a Stationary Compactor to compact dry waste & recyclables, it might make sense for you to get the biggest container possible if you have the space for it. Items like general trash, cardboard, and plastic are fairly light making it unlikely that they would cause overweight issues. It’s a different story with Self-Contained Compactors. When you are dealing with wet waste like meat or other materials with high liquid content, you need to be conscious of weight. Bigger isn’t always better. If you are constantly encountering overweight fines from your hauler then it might make sense for you to downsize your compactor to stay within regulation.

Utilizing a Compactor Fullness Monitoring System

Put simply, a compactor fullness monitoring system gives you more insight into the fullness of your compactor. You can tell how full the waste compactor is by the percentage from your smartphone. This allows you to better optimize your pick-up schedule. It keeps your hauler from picking up your compactor too frequently while also preventing you from encountering overweight issues.

Avoiding overweight compactor issues is an important part of running an efficient waste-handling program. Ensure you stay in compliance by following the above suggestions under the guidance of a compactor professional. That’s where we come in. As waste compactor experts, we can help you make the right decision on all of the above considerations. Utilizing our services for your waste compactor needs will allow you to optimize your compaction ratio while preventing you from experiencing costly overweight issues.  Keep your operations running smoothly.

Contact us today!