Turning Waste into Profit

| Industry Insights

b66 compost

No matter the company, waste cuts into profits. “Unusable” materials are carted away by the truckful, taking money spent on tipping and shipping fees along with them. Additionally, the environmental implications of discarding that much material are unfortunate, to say the least, but it’s unavoidable—right?

With the use of horizontal grinders and shredders, there are unlikely and surprising opportunities to turn waste into a secondary, profitable product.

Opportunities for Green Waste

Green waste, also called yard waste, comes from tree and lawn care. It includes things like roots, leaves, tree trimmings, uprooted plants, and whole logs. The trend of recycling green waste has grown in recent years as restrictions have been put in place to divert organic material from landfills.

Much of green waste can be converted into biomass fuels or ground down into compost. While the compost industry began with the goal of overall waste reduction, focus has shifted to creating a high-quality, consistent product. Standardized particle size is crucial, so it’s important to choose a machine you can trust to provide consistency. If you’re looking to enter the consumer market directly, consider investing in a bagger. This would allow you to package your compost on-site and have it ready for resale.

Another massive opportunity in green waste is the mulch industry, though it may require some pre-sorting. Colored mulch has especially become popular, and with the right equipment, you can grind and color your mulch at the same time, reducing production costs and time.

Opportunities for Food Waste

Each year in America, we produce more than 160 billion dollars’ worth of food waste. Its disposal has become more regulated as of late, since food waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas, as it breaks down.

Produce peels, peanut shells, unfinished meals, expired vegetables, and more can all be converted to compost and animal feed.  Additionally, food waste can be ground down and sold as feedstock for anaerobic digesters.

Opportunities for C&D Waste

Waste produced from construction and demolition includes lumber, shingles, cardboard, concrete, and wire. As previously discussed, wood can easily be converted into a multitude of useful products, and pallet recycling is no different. Horizontal grinders make producing high volumes of mulch, playground cushion, and animal bedding a breeze.

Reclaimed asphalt shingles, or RAS, can be broken down and reused as a component of the hot or warm mix for asphalt pavement. They can also be utilized for road construction, since the fiber, asphalt cement, and aggregate in shingles are all components in asphalt road mix. Local governments and commercial pavers are excellent markets for selling RAS. Grinding shingles can be challenging if your equipment isn’t up to par, so choose carefully.

To expand the variety of materials you can receive, consider using a shredder to reduce the initial size of the C&D waste. This also presents a chance to separate metal and other contaminants from the waste before grinding, minimizing wear and reducing the chance of damage to your grinder.

While you could sell to a company who specializes in producing waste-based products, like mulch or biomass fuel producers, adding a lucrative second product to your business is never a bad idea. As the push for clean energy and green business practices grows, recycling your waste not only increases your profits, but it also improves your company’s public perception.

No matter what industry you’re entering, having the correct equipment is essential. For more information on market opportunities, visit our resources, and for equipment suggestions, contact a Rotochopper sales rep.

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