Glastonbury, United Kingdom-based Middleton Engineering has supplied an 80-metric-ton baler that is processing scrap packaging materials at the production plant of Sanford, U.K.-based Thatchers Cider.
The family-owned cider maker, which exports its bottled and canned ciders around the world, contracted Middleton Engineering to supply and install the baler and slider-bed feed conveyor at its Myrtle Farm cider mill to compact and bale scrap packaging materials at source, prior to shipment to re-processors.
The Middleton ME80 closed-end semi-automatic baler has been designed to help Thatchers Cider “further improve environmental practices, cutting the dependency on external waste processors to collect and bale packaging waste, in turn reducing the number of vehicle movements, and giving the company greater control over its ability to deal with production byproducts,” according to a Middleton Engineering news release.
“Sustainability is vitally important to our business and nothing goes to waste,” says Neil Day, operations director at Thatchers Cider. “For example, pomace from our cider presses, the solid residue once all the juice is extracted, goes to cattle feed and prunings from the orchards are used to fire our biomass boiler. The new baler allows us to take charge of our packaging waste, means we can recycle more and pushes the whole company into thinking about waste and the environment.”
Middleton Engineering says it was selected by the beverage maker based on recommendations and because of its proximity as a fellow business based in the county of Somerset in southwest England. The ME80 was selected to provide a robust baler on a small footprint, capable of delivering consistent mill-size bales and achieving maximum bale weights for optimal transportation.
The ME80 was Installed and running 12 weeks after the initial order, which included the installation of a custom conveyor to feed the baler that was designed specifically for the size of cardboard the company deals with. Currently, Thatchers Cider is baling about five metric tons of cardboard packaging scrap and one metric ton of plastic scrap each week, helping to create a new revenue stream for the business.
“The new machine has been operating smoothly for some weeks,” says Day. “Essential safety training and the overall experience of dealing with Middleton Engineering, including service and support, has been excellent.”