The TC Recycling LLC material recovery facility (MRF) in Mars, Pennsylvania, is where recyclable materials collected by Vogel Disposal go to get sorted, cleaned up, baled and otherwise prepared for shipment as secondary commodities.

Vogel Disposal, based in Mars, is a second-generation waste and recycling family business that collects material from commercial and residential customers in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. In 2017, the company committed to recycling by buying a new baler and investing in sorting equipment and technology that can sort up to 600 tons per day in an automated fashion.

For nearly three decades, the company’s recycling operations relied on an HRB-10 model baler built by Georgia- based Harris. According to Harris distributor Ken Ely Jr. of Ohio-based Ely Enterprises, 82-year-old Ed Vogel, who founded Vogel Disposal, quipped to Ely that he had “really taken advantage of him,” since the company was considering replacing the hard-working machine in just under 30 years.

Not surprisingly, Vogel Disposal opted to seek out a new Harris baler for its TC Recycling MRF in 2017 and also is making plans to invest in rebuilding its 1989-vintage HRB-10 to keep it running at a smaller facility.

At TC Recycling, the Vogel organization selected a Centurion two-ram baler model and worked with Harris and Ely Enterprises to install a machine that now works eight to 10 hours per day. The hard-working Centurion bales three different paper grades plus aluminum used beverage containers (UBCs), steel cans and plastic bottles.

Increased speed—leading to increased volumes per hour—and updated automation features were among the attractions of the Centurion that helped Vogel Disposal make its decision in that direction.

“It’s faster, but it’s comparable to the HRB in its sturdiness,” says Matthew Fickes, operations manager at TC Recycling, of the new baler. Regarding its automation, “When we switch grades, we hit the button for that product and it just sets off and does it. It’s a lot easier for my people; they can just hit the button for, say, OCC, and the Centurion knows how many straps and the pressure needed,” says Fickes.

Fickes and Ely say the Centurion’s bale separation door also makes it easier to switch grades at the multi-material MRF, and Fickes likes the online diagnostics feature. “Harris can dial into the machine and pinpoint where the problem is. A lot of issues they can address remotely,” notes Fickes.

Two-ram Harris Centurion balers have been a popular choice with recyclers of multiple materials seeking a reliable, automated high-volume machine since they were introduced the previous decade. More information on the heavy-duty models can be found at https://harrisequip.com/products/two-ram-balers/centurion.