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    Down to the Roots of Cardboard Recycling

    A natural/organic grocer goes green(er) to cut trash haulage costs, earn revenue.

    Natural and organic grocer Roots Market has found a way to reduce its cardboard box waste, increase its recycling efforts and earn revenue for its recycled material. The solution implemented by the retailer at its Clarksville, Md., location uses technology to compact and bale boxes, which are then picked up by a network of recyclers that pays the store for the cardboard waste.

    The new baler, provided by Shelton, Conn.-based Orwak USA, is saving the store $2,000 in yearly trash haulage costs, while simultaneously generating $4,500 in new recycling revenue for the location. By reducing its trash stream, Roots is also minimizing its use of fossil fuels and overall carbon footprint.

    “By baling our cardboard boxes, we have reduced our dumpster pickup from six days a week to one, which adds up to thousands in cost savings,” noted Roots facilities and operations director Jack Moore. “That, combined with the $4,500 we’re earning annually by selling the baled cardboard to a recycler, makes being green not only affordable, but a revenue generator.”

    Although there are banding costs associated with the baler, the new process “is still a net gain, and that’s what’s important,” adds Moore. “Our customers strive to live a healthier, greener lifestyle, and we are delighted to have found a way to show them that we are making an effort to recycle.”

    The Orwak 3110 compactor/baler takes up just six square feet of floor space, making it a good fit for retailers with limited room to spare. Additionally, in contrast to most balers, the model uses standard 110-volt power and can produce bales of 80 to 100 pounds, which are easier to deal with than the unwieldy 400-pound bales produced by other balers.

    “Roots Market was searching for a solution that would cut waste costs, generate revenue and enhance its commitment to green operations,” said Tomas Johansson, president of Orwak, a Swedish company wholly owned by Tomra, a Norway-based global provider of advanced recycling solutions. “They succeeded in finding a solution that would achieve all these goals – a practical, space-saving Orwak baler. Because the Orwak 3110 is such an efficient solution, most of our clients see return on investment in just three to 12 months.”
     

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