Onetrak’s top tips for Waste and Recycling

July 9, 2024
Finding the right partner to manage your machinery requirements for waste and recycling needs is not as hard as you think. A supplier that prioritises your success by adding value over and above your initial purchase is key. Industry knowledge is priceless, especially when it is backed up with servicing Australia wide.

As we head towards a sustainable circular economy, waste management operations need to stay ahead of the curve to remain efficient and profitable. Improving efficiencies onsite by choosing the right equipment and fine tuning the processes, ensures investments can be made in innovation and technology in order to keep their business in line with this fast-paced industry.

Achieving these goals in reality can be challenging. To help you enhance your waste management practices, we have compiled our top tips. These strategies can aid in creating a thorough practical plan for your operation.

Selecting the correct equipment

Determine the categories of waste materials

To begin, pinpoint the specific types of waste materials you plan to manage. Whether it's plastic, paper, metal, or electronic waste, each type demands specialized machinery and tools. For example, a plastic recycling plant might need shredders and crushers, whereas a paper recycling facility might require balers and pulpers.

Examine the scope and size of your operations

Take into account the amount of waste materials you anticipate handling daily or monthly. This assessment will dictate the necessary capacity and size of machinery and equipment. Avoid investing in machines that are either too small or too large for your operations.

Evaluate the space within your facility to determine the suitability for installing machinery and equipment. Take precise measurements to confirm compatibility with the selected machines. Also, take into account aspects like ventilation, safety regulations, stockpiling and the ease of movement within the facility.

Set a realistic budget

Recognize your financial constraints and establish a practical budget for acquiring machinery and equipment. It's crucial to find a middle ground between affordability and quality. Keep in mind that opting for dependable, long-lasting machines will result in cost savings in the long run. Partner with a supplier that provides a variety of flexible purchasing options tailored to your needs.

Efficiency and productivity

When selecting machinery, prioritize high processing efficiency and productivity. Efficiency plays a vital role in the profitability of your waste management operations. Choose equipment capable of managing substantial waste volumes, while reducing energy consumption and maximizing production output.

Support and maintenance

When looking into recycling machinery, it's crucial to assess the maintenance needs and the level of support offered by the manufacturer. Regular maintenance is key for the machines to perform at their best and last longer. Moreover, check for spare parts availability, service agreements, and technical support options.

Safety features

Ensure the safety of your employees and the environment by choosing machinery equipped with strong safety features. Seek out features such as emergency stop buttons, safety guards, automatic shut-off systems, good visibility and user-friendly interfaces to reduce the chances of accidents. Having a clear vision is essential for feeding and loading operations. This might involve using raised cabs or platforms.

Ensure effective dust control measures are in place. Regular maintenance and monitoring, high-quality filtration systems, wet/foam suppression techniques, staff training on PPE, and vigilance help minimize airborne particles, ensuring worker and environmental protection from dust exposure risks.

Anaconda Trommel processing waste material

Practice efficient material handling.

Sorting materials correctly is a crucial element of efficient recycling to enable smooth processing. Operational efficiency is vital in the recycling sector, ensuring waste materials are processed and recycled in the most resourceful and cost-effective way. This includes stream lining processes like collection, sorting, storage and processing to maximise recycling volumes and reduce waste. Consider conveyors, magnets and optical scanners to separate the recyclables and minimise manual handling.  

Consider the design layout to reduce re-handling as well as integrate safety measures and environmental factors to prevent accidents and reduce the operations impact on the nearby ecosystem.

Loading and feeding techniques


- Proper positioning to maximise the reach, stability and capabilities of the machine

- Smooth control and steady movements can make faster work as this avoids inaccuracies and damaging equipment

- Minimize movement by planning ahead to reduce cycle times

- Implementing GPS and Telematics - These technologies provide instant feedback on the machine’s performance, the accuracy of tasks, and even predictive maintenance notifications. Additionally, they offer valuable data to assist operators in enhancing their skills.

- Provide regular training

Fuchs Material Handler sorting waste materials

Maximise outcomes

Finding value in other products onsite

The delivery of waste materials especially C&D waste can include bricks, concrete, soil, timber, metals with limited plastics, plasterboard, ceramics and paper. For bricks and concrete consider crushing and recycling these for another income stream. This not only diverts waste from landfills but also provides a sustainable source of materials for future construction projects. Soil and timber can be repurposed as well; soil may be enriched and used in landscaping or gardening, while timber can be processed into mulch or reclaimed for building purposes.

Metals, being highly recyclable, can be sorted and sold to recycling facilities, ensuring they are reused in manufacturing new products. Limited plastics should be carefully segregated and sent to appropriate recycling centers to minimize environmental impact. Plasterboard can be broken down and its gypsum content recycled for use in new plasterboard or as a soil conditioner. 

Ceramics, although more challenging to recycle, can be crushed and used as aggregate in road construction or as a base material for new ceramic products. Paper, one of the more straightforward materials to recycle, should be collected and sent to recycling plants where it can be pulped and transformed into new paper products.

Additionally, the plant may incorporate composting facilities for organic waste and advanced waste-to-energy systems to maximise resource recovery.

With minimal control over feed material, always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. This includes implementing robust sorting and pre-processing systems to handle unexpected contaminants and varying material compositions. By investing in versatile and adaptable technologies, the plant can ensure operational efficiency and maintain high standards of safety and environmental compliance.

Engage in continuous staff training and development programs to equip your team with the latest industry knowledge and best practices. This not only enhances productivity but also fosters a culture of innovation and responsibility among employees.

Regularly review and optimize your processes. Conduct audits and seek feedback to identify areas for improvement and implement changes that increase efficiency and reduce waste.

By taking these proactive steps, you can create a resilient and sustainable operation that not only meets but exceeds industry standards.

Waste streams are always changing

Pay attention to the seasons and local events, as they can greatly influence the types of waste generated. For example, during the summer months, there might be an increase in plastic waste from outdoor activities and barbecues, after Easter there is more aluminum, after Christmas there is an influx of paper. Similarly, during back-to-school season, you may notice a surge in discarded packaging from school supplies and electronics.

Understanding these patterns allows for better planning and resource allocation. It helps in optimizing recycling processes, ensuring that the right machinery and manpower are available when needed most.

Ultimately, being vigilant and adaptable in the face of changing waste streams is key to creating a more sustainable business. By recognizing patterns and preparing accordingly, you can turn challenges into opportunities.

Finding the right partner to manage your machinery requirements for waste and recycling needs is not as hard as you think. A supplier that prioritises your success by adding value over and above your initial purchase is key. Industry knowledge is priceless, especially when it is backed up with servicing Australia wide. Contact our Onetrak team to partner with your Waste Management Operations on or phone 1300 727 520.


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