Questions to Consider When Choosing a Vertical or Horizontal Baler

Balers are critical components to industrial recycling and waste management strategies. Their ability to compress large amounts of waste into smaller, manageable bales makes them beneficial for not only recycling, but for overall production efficiency as well. Not all balers are created equally, though. It’s important to consider the specifics of your operation before choosing equipment.

At Quincy Recycle, we offer full-service waste management solutions to assist in the decision process. We work hard to understand the difference between how you manage your waste stream today compared to how you want it to operate. We’ll then recommend the right equipment that can help you reach those goals. Below, you’ll find a list of questions to consider when choosing a vertical or horizontal baler.

How much waste does my business produce?

Capacity plays a large part in deciding between a vertical or horizontal baler. Vertical balers handle moderate volumes of material, up to 50 tons of material per month. Horizontal balers generally handle between 50 – 200 tons of waste material per month. Businesses with specific needs or that produce larger waste volumes might consider choosing an auto-tie horizontal baler.

What type of material waste is commonly produced by my business?

Waste type could determine which baler best suits your operation. It could also determine whether a different piece of equipment, such as a compactor, could be a more suitable application. Cardboard, metals, plastic, textiles, corrugated cardboard, non-ferrous materials, and more can all be baled depending on the specifications of the machine you choose.

How much available space does my warehouse have?

Space is another element to consider when making equipment choices. Both vertical and horizontal balers have height and length restrictions. Horizontal balers occupy a larger footprint but are more automated than a vertical baler. As the name suggests, while vertical balers maintain a smaller footprint they can stand over 12’ high.

Safety is a priority when installing and operating balers. Make sure there’s enough room for the machinery to operate and be maintained safely and effectively. Warehouses should have an adequate open area for equipment and enough clearance for employees to safely operate it.

Not sure what you have the space for? Give our General Manager of Quincy Recycle Equipment, Tom Saylor, a call at (260) 494-5676 or email him at An equipment expert will contact you soon to evaluate your industrial area or warehouse for available space.

What features do I need?

Historically, balers were simple machines controlled by a couple buttons and didn’t include a significant amount of safety features. Today this has changed completely. Manufacturers consider Operator safety as they are designing the balers and have included a wide array of features that can help make a baler safer and more efficient in any operation.

Ease-of-use is another factor to consider when thinking about features. Horizontal auto-tie balers are capable of receiving a constant feed of material while tying and ejecting bales automatically, but they require skilled personnel to operate them safely and efficiently. Vertical balers must be manually fed material, but are overall simpler to use. Closed door horizontal balers can be fed manually or by a conveyor, cycle automatically and only require labor to tie each bale.

What is my budget?

Typically, vertical balers maintain the lowest initial purchase price businesses wanting to invest in industrial recycling. However, if your answers to the above questions suggest a goal of reducing labor costs are part of your ROI calculation a horizontal baler might be the best option, Quincy Recycle offers lease and purchase agreements to get you what you need while protecting the bottom line.

New and used recycling machinery is offered with rental, lease-to-own, and purchase options. Our large inventory allows us to offer a variety of different price points. Quincy Recycle’s sales team has experience helping different industries estimate waste volume and possible return on investments. Learn about budgeting and payment options for recycling equipment in our article titled Should Your Business Invest in Recycling Equipment in 2023?

There are many benefits to choosing a baler for your recycling program. The experts at Quincy Recycle can determine the best solution for your waste output, goals, and revenue opportunities. We proudly carry Max-Pak, Recycling Equipment, Inc., and equipment from other manufacturers to give our customers a variety of reliable, customizable options.

To request a free quote for your new baler, please fill out the online form on our Recycling Equipment page.