US recycler invests in growth by installing Presona prepress baler

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RAM Recycling, in Wisconsin USA, has improved its productivity and decreased its operating expenses with the installation of a Presona LP 140 XH1S baler supplied by Presona distributor Stadler America.

In 2015, after a relocation to a bigger building Tony Duckert, owner and president of RAM Recycling, went looking for a new baler. He knew what he didn’t want. He didn’t want a two ram baler since they require a dedicated operator. Nor did he want a single-ram shear baler because of the energy consumption. So he decided on a used European prepress baler and liked it. However, after a couple of years it became apparent that this prepress baler couldn’t keep up the increasing amount of materials that needed compacting. Enter the Presona LP 140 XH1S (really big) baler.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start from the beginning of the story of how RAM Recycling became the largest privately owned high-grade packer in Wisconsin.

Starting small

Tony Duckert, the owner and president of RAM Recycling, has worked in the recycling industry for more than 25 years. Tired of corporate life, he left his job with a national waste and recycling company Friday, Jan. 20, 1996. The following Monday, he started his own company, Waste Connection, that provided solid waste and recycling consulting and brokerage services to corporate clients.

At his customers insistence, he began managing loose tons, partnering with a sheltered workshop to physically process the material. That operation would go on to employ 65 people with disabilities as well as a staff of nondisabled supervisors before the agency he was working with was acquired and left the recycling business

First baler was a two-ram

Faced with whether to contract with third-party processors or to start his own processing facility, Duckert opted for the latter. In 2010, he began operating RAM Recycling out of a 27,000-square-foot building with a single two-ram baler. “It was not ideal,” he says of the location, adding that his company soon outgrew the leased building.

In 2015, he purchased an 81,000-square-foot building on 6 acres in Oak Creek and relocated the company. RAM Recycling occupies 65,000 square feet of that space; the rest is leased to a tenant. The company specializes in free sheet and groundwood grades primarily from the printing and packaging sectors. Duckert describes RAM Recycling as “the largest privately owned high-grade packer in Wisconsin.”

The company also processes plastics, including stretch film and some rigid material.

Expanding with a used prepress baler

When RAM Recycling relocated, Duckert kept the two-ram baler from his previous facility but needed a second baler. He says he knew that he didn’t want another two ram because he didn’t want to have to have a dedicated operator. Nor was Duckert interested in a single-ram shear baler because of the energy consumption shearing requires. Instead, he purchased a used prepress model from a European manufacturer. However, he says that model had trouble keeping up as the company tripled the tonnage of high-grade paper it processed from 2015 to 2018.

In September 2018, RAM Recycling installed the Presona LP 140 XH1S prepress baler supplied by Stadler America, the U.S. distributor for the Swedish company. But before the sale and installation took place, Mat Everhart, Stadler America chief executive officer, had to convince Duckert that he was making the right choice.

 

Presona baler with conveyor