Which industrial compactor is right for you?

There are different compactors for different types of waste and businesses, so which industrial compactor is right for your facility? Whether you’re a new facility manager evaluating your waste stream for the first time, or you’re looking at compactors for a new location or different kinds of waste, here’s what you need to know to choose the right industrial compactor.

Self-Contained Compactors

Self-contained compactors are designed to hold wet waste, which makes them useful for locations disposing of food. Managing a restaurant or a university or office building that provides food service? A self-contained compactor is a good option. These compactors are used by grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, stadiums, universities and other businesses that produce wet waste.  

How Does a Self-Contained Compactor Work?

A self-contained compactor may be attached to a building with an opening that allows wet waste to be loaded from the inside. These compactors may also be placed fully inside, or they can be left outside the building, depending on the needs of the business. Wet waste is loaded into the compactor, then a ram compacts the waste until it is pushed inside the container and crushed to a size that’s about 75% smaller than before.

The compactor is fused to the container that holds the waste to prevent leakage. When the container fills up, the container (with compactor attached) is loaded onto a truck. The truck takes the compactor to a landfill where the waste is dumped. Then the entire unit is returned to the business where it begins the process over again. 

What Are the Advantages of a Self-Contained Compactor? 

Self-contained commercial compactors are designed to be liquid-tight to prevent leaks that could compromise the health and safety of your employees. Additionally, there are fewer odors with self-contained compactors, which is especially important if it’s located indoors. Rodents and insects can’t access your trash while it sits in its container, and many self-contained compactors also come with a self-cleaning flushing feature for convenience. 

Vertical Compactors

A vertical compactor, also known as a front-loaded compactor, can be easily emptied using a front-loading truck. They’re perfect for small spaces and buildings that have limited space for a compactor. Vertical compactors hold materials like plastic, cardboard, paper and even some wet materials. Their tall size makes them a good option for apartment buildings and facilities with a narrow trash enclosure.

How Does a Vertical Compactor Work?

To load a vertical compactor, place appropriate waste into the compactor through the front doors. When the container appears full, use the compactor to press down the garbage to reduce its volume. 

What Are the Advantages of a Vertical Compactor?

Vertical compactors are relatively small. This makes them ideal for retail locations and businesses with limited space. Their small footprint combines the usefulness of decreased garbage volume with the functionality of a larger stationary compactor. 

Stationary Compactors

A stationary compactor is a large trash compactor that compresses dry materials like plastic and cardboard. These compactors are typically used in high-volume waste settings like hospitals, department stores, restaurants and warehouses – however, these compactors are only used to compact the dry materials produced by these businesses. Wet materials should be crushed in self-contained compactors. 

How Does a Stationary Compactor Work?

Stationary compactors are bolted to the ground, making them a permanent addition to a facility. The compactor crushes waste into a receiver box, then the container or trailer is hauled to a landfill to be emptied. 

What Are the Advantages of Stationary Compactors?

A stationary compactor is larger than a vertical compactor, so it can hold more waste. This type of compactor is the best choice for businesses that produce large quantities of waste every day such as warehouses and large retail locations. We’ve installed stationary compactors at many warehouse locations to help them cut down on their waste volume and right-size the number of weekly pickups they require. Stationary compactors can cut down on the cost of managing large waste volumes.

Not sure if you need a standard stationary compactor or a vertical compactor? We can help you evaluate your waste flow to find the right solution.   If you’re still not sure which compactor, or combination of compactors, is best for your business, give us a call to schedule a waste evaluation. We’ll find the right industrial compactor solution, whether you manage one location or one hundred.

Ask Angela: Can you put a dumpster over a septic tank?

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Dear Angela, we’ve got limited space on our worksite. Can we put a dumpster over a septic tank?

Hey, there. I’m really glad you asked this question because we’ve had a few customers over the years who have discovered there’s a very costly answer. Basically, no, we don’t advise it. And I’m going to tell you why.

First of all, any time you’re doing work near a septic tank you need to be very careful what you place on or near the tank. They aren’t built to withstand the weight of a dumpster, or even a storage container. You shouldn’t even park on them, to be honest.

If your site has a septic tank, make sure it’s clearly marked so your crew doesn’t accidentally park or drive heavy equipment over it. In fact, it’s a good idea to put up some temporary fencing or orange safety fencing just to make sure everyone knows it’s there.

Second, make sure you order an extra porta potty or two depending on the size of your crew. Most septic tanks are built for families – we’re talking five or six people max – so it’s almost guaranteed you’ll have issues if you’ve got a whole crew trying to use bathrooms hooked to that septic tank.

We’ve had customers who didn’t take this advice and ended up with a backed-up tank that needed an emergency pump-out or complete clean-out. Both of those options take time and will leave your site without facilities. Our advice is play it safe and get a porta potty for the crew.

Finally, let’s address your underlying question. It sounds like you don’t have a lot of space at your worksite. You may have space for a smaller dumpster that can be serviced more frequently, or we might be able to place the dumpster in a driveway or on the street (if your municipality allows that). Visit our dumpster sizing page to see the different sizes available or give us a call and we can help you find the right solution.

As always, thanks for asking your question! Our goal is to help you avoid costly errors whenever possible. We’re always here to help, so reach out through the comments section of our social media accounts if you have a question for us!

5 Commercial Renovation Trends for 2021

COVID-19 changed the way everyone does business, and commercial renovation trends are changing to keep up with workplace changes. As of June 2020, an estimated 42 percent of the labor force was working from home. In 2021, many businesses are expected to incorporate hybrid working models to keep people at home. And some studies suggest up to 70% of the workforce may want to return to the office for the majority of their week. As more business owners and companies are faced with a new normal, property owners are planning renovations and asking themselves: What will the office of the future look like? 

1. Bathrooms for the Modern Era

We always knew that clean bathrooms were an important feature in commercial buildings. But after battling a global pandemic, sanitary bathrooms have become more important than ever. Buildings that haven’t yet made the switch to touchless toilets and sink faucets should consider making these updates. Modern conveniences like these help put people at ease, and it helps people avoid contact with surfaces that could lead to illnesses. 

2. Touchless Technology

Touchless features aren’t just for bathrooms. This technology has been gaining traction in other parts of the building as well, including doors, elevators and even coffee makers. Imagine a cappuccino machine that syncs to an app and allows anyone to use the machine without touching its surface. Or an elevator with an infrared panel that senses the floor that your finger is hovering over. 

This might sound expensive to implement, but the demand for these technologies has dramatically increased in recent years. Watch technology companies for updates on touchless devices as demand rises and the technology becomes more affordable. 

3. Collaborative Spaces

While it’s true that office work has changed in 2020, it’s also true that hybrid workplaces have been around for years. The hybrid office concept gained steam even before the pandemic hit. For several years, companies have been shifting toward a more collaborative workspace. Employees have been splitting their time between tasks at the office and tasks at home. In fact, CNBC predicted offices will become “elaborate conference centers.” Instead of traditional office layouts, tenants are looking for collaboration rooms combined with privacy booths for independent tasks. 

What does this mean in practice? Cubicles will be removed and replaced with conference rooms and collaborative spaces. Around the perimeter, scattered in corners and in convenient locations, you’ll find individual workstations, available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

4. A Reimagined Footprint

Many companies realized in 2020 that they may not need very much office space. They could save a great deal of money by reducing their office footprint. And why shouldn’t they cut back their office space, with all their employees working from home? 

Commercial property owners followed suit and are now re-thinking their commercial office spaces. Footprints are changing. Occupants are asking for new types of space. And property owners are striving to create more flexible spaces. Everyone is looking for the flexibility to divide, sub-divide, and lease spaces in creative ways. 

5. HVAC Investments

Fresh air is vital for improving indoor air quality and maintaining the health of everyone in the building. Contractors have known this for years. And now CREs see the importance of installing HVAC systems that provide the maximum number of air changes per hour. Companies are more aware of air circulation and filtration, and this translates to what they expect from their office buildings. Property owners are already evaluating HVAC upgrades that promote health and wellness among their buildings’ occupants. 

COVID-19 has heavily influenced commercial renovation trends in 2021. If you’re planning, or working on, a major commercial renovation project, give us a call. We can bundle all your jobsite services – from portable toilets to storage to dumpsters – in one, easy call.