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Plastic Baler Solved Recycling Problem
When Washington County, Neb., started recycling plastic jugs and bottles in the spring of 1991, officials soon learned that the sale value of all the plastic they could fit into a 42-ft. trailer was not enough to pay for the cost of transportation to the nearest market. Officials knew they either had to stop collecting or find a way to compress the plastic into bales.
Two local "old timers" - Herman Hovendick and Dick Lippincott - had baled hay and straw with stationary balers in the 20's and 30's before pickup balers came out in the 40's. They told the county they could build a stationary baler for less than $500 that would handle the plastic.
"We found a junked New Holland 66 square baler and removed the pickup, knotters, needles, pto, flywheel, and crank," says Lippincott. "The bale chamber was turned 1/4 turn on the axle so the opening is at the top. A hydraulic cylinder was in-stalled to drive the plunger with a log split-ter detent valve to control it. Boards were made to separate the bales and to provide slots through which to insert wires."
Power for the hydraulics comes from a 5-hp. electric motor running a hydraulic pump. It worked fine the first time it was used but after a few weeks use the bale chamber started to wear and the bales got lighter. So the men took the compression springs off another old New Holland baler and added them to the unit. The two sets of compression springs now make the baler work fine, says Lippincott.
"Since 1991, more than 40 tons of plastic has been baled. The cost, including all hydraulics, electrical outlets and wiring, board, and electric motor overhaul, was less than the $500 budget," says Lippincott.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Washington County Recycling Asociation, P.O. Box 266, Washington, Neb. 68068 (402 238-2341 or 402 426-5504).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #3