Designed by waste experts and event industry professionals, Waste Baling Machines has launched the Recycling Processing Unit (RPU), which is innovative in its offering to festivals and events of all sizes. By starting the recycling process onsite – crushing recyclable waste into neat, stackable bales 10-20% the size of the original, and glass into recyclable cullet that takes just 20% of the storage space, so events need just 20% of the transportation for their recyclable waste and substantially reduce carbon footprint as well as increasing the recycling rate.
The RPU was ‘soft’ launched in the Summer of 2023 at the Green Man Festival, in Crickhowell, and was an outright success from the start: processing 4 tonnes of cardboard, 3 skip fulls of glass bottles, and 0.8 tonnes of aluminium drinks cans.
For the volume created, this would previously have needed 4 x articulated lories and 3 x skip lorries to remove, travelling daily to site because of a lack of storage, removing the waste to landfill or recycling facilities and clogging up roads on a daily basis.
Storage onsite was no longer a problem – where this cardboard would previously have taken up 190m3 of space, the RPU condensed it into just 19m3; that’s 30 pallet loads of drinks cans transformed into just 2.5; and the glass filled up less than half a skip. Because of this reduced volume, as well as the innate ‘stackability’ of the bales created, all materials were able to be neatly stacked in containers onsite until the end of the festival, thereby reducing the frequency of lorries on the local road network.
The decreased volume also meant that the transport requirements were reduced to just 1 x 18T lorry, 1 x 3.5T van, and 1 skip lorry. The CO2 emissions from these vehicles alone was cut from 4,652g/km to 1,428g/km – that’s just 31% of the original!
Matt Smith, Litter & Recycling Manager at the Green Man Festival, says:
“The RPU enabled us to separate our recyclable waste much more easily. Within minutes of arriving on site the unit was up and running. We hired the RPU from setup through to post-festival clean up, and it was able to easily handle all the waste from the caterers, contractors and festival attendees throughout the period.
Not only did it massively reduce the amount of lorries coming on and off site throughout the festival period, it also meant that the entire waste processing area was cleaner, and more waste was recycled compared to previous years.”
Waste Baling Machines’ RPU won the Green Supplier Innovation Award at SES 2023, October 2023.