Devon-based plastics re-processor and recycling company, Polymer Industries, established a mainstream recycling arm, Recycling South West, earlier this year to provide additional services to customers across the region. Following this, the company has selected a baling and conveyor solution from Middleton Engineering.

Full flexibility to bale a range of materials such as paper, cardboard and polythene through to rigid plastics including drums, crates and bumpers, while at the same time achieving maximum bale weights for optimal container transportation, were key requirements for the solution, which is installed at the company’s expanding site at Wrangaton in South Devon.

Under the contract, Middleton Engineering has designed, manufactured and installed a compact solution incorporating a Middleton ME80 closed-end semi-automatic baler, fitted with a bespoke slider-bed feed conveyor. This includes an in-floor section to ease loading, with the addition of gravity driven roller tracking to convey completed bales out through an opening into a storage yard.

Jason Goozée, Polymer Industries’ MD, says, “Recycling South West extends the range of services we offer to both existing and new customers and is a natural fit for Polymer Industries, which joined the TGM Recycling Group in 2016 – one of the largest paper and cardboard merchants in the south of the UK.  As part of a larger group, we also benefit from direct relationships with processing mills, which in turn means we can offer the keenest rates to our customers for recycled paper and card.”

“Selecting Middleton followed a visit to their manufacturing operation in Somerset and positive industry feedback. We were impressed by their quality workmanship and the enthusiasm of the team. The baler gives us the flexibility we need with the option to bale rigid plastics at optimal weights as our new service develops,” Goozée added.

With the new baler operational, Recycling South West is already handling a significant tonnage of materials from across the South West region and beyond. As volumes increase more staff will be added with the intention of running the baling operation on an extended double shift for 15 hours a day.

The company is already offering a weekly or fortnightly collection service for cardboard, polythene and some hard plastics, accommodating both small and large customers and will also accept materials delivered direct to site. In addition, the business will also accept pre-baled cardboard, re-baling it to achieve mill size dimensions and optimum loading weights more suited to sea containers.

The project and installation process followed a short lead-time to build and ship the equipment and structural works for the in-floor section of the conveyor and site preparation took a little over a week. Following this Middleton coordinated the delivery, craning and installation of the whole baler unit and it was up and running within 72 hours.

Goozée and his team have been impressed by the experience, together with the engineering and build quality of the machinery and the attention to detail. “Service and support has also been excellent,” Goozée said. “A number of minor teething problems were promptly and professionally resolved by Middleton engineers and the equipment has now been operating smoothly for a couple of months and our operators have been fully trained in its use and performance.”