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Thatchers Cider takes charge of its packaging waste

28 January 2018

An 80-tonne baler and slider-bed feed conveyor has been installed by Middleton Engineering for Thatchers Cider at its Myrtle Farm cider mill in Somerset. 

This will allow the company to compact and bale waste packaging materials at source, prior to shipment to re-processors.

The Middleton ME80 closed end semi-automatic baler will help to improve environmental practices at the facility, cutting its dependency on external waste processors to collect and bale packaging waste, in turn reducing the number of vehicle movements, and giving the company greater control over its ability to deal with production by-products.

Neil Day, operations director at Thatchers Cider explains: “Sustainability is important to our business and nothing goes to waste. For example, pomace from our cider presses, the solid residue once all the juice is extracted, goes to cattle feed and prunings from the orchards are used to fire our biomass boiler. The new baler allows us to take charge of our packaging waste, means we can recycle more and pushes the whole company into thinking about waste and the environment.”

Middleton Engineering was able to install and get the baler up and running in just 12 weeks from initial order. It offers a a robust, small footprint, solution capable of delivering consistent mill size bales and achieving maximum bale weights for optimal onwards transportation. Part of the installation has included a bespoke conveyor to feed the baler and designed specifically for the size of cardboard the company deals with. Currently Thatchers Cider is baling around five tonnes of cardboard packaging waste and one tonne of plastic waste each week, which in turn is creating a new revenue stream for the business.

Neil Day and his team are pleased with the solution. “The new machine has been operating smoothly for some weeks. Essential safety training and the overall experience of dealing with Middleton Engineering, including service and support, has been excellent,” he said.


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