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Waste Sorting: A Complete Guide to How and Why Your Business Must Do It

Many people don’t realise that over 90% of the waste generated in Europe comes from business activity. Only 8.2% of waste comes from private households. Efficient waste sorting by businesses is vital to increase the amount of recycled waste.

The global push towards recycling is dependent on each business taking responsibility for sorting the waste they produce. By sorting waste at the source, large companies can produce high-quality recyclable material.

Advances in waste sorting and baling systems make it simple for companies to process their waste on-site. Doing this dramatically increases the amount of industrial waste that’s recycled and reused.

Each business that can sort its own waste is making a positive contribution to conserving our finite resources. Waste sorting and recycling are a key part of becoming sustainable and preserving our planet for future generations.

What Is Waste Sorting?

Waste sorting is the process of separating all the refuse that your company produces into different types of waste. This unwanted material is then stored together and recycled or disposed of in other ways.

Without a waste sorting system in place, large amounts of recyclable material end up in landfills. For small businesses, it is possible to sort waste by hand. Large companies can save time by using an automated waste sorting system.

How to Sort Waste

Waste is generally sorted according to specific categories. Some types of waste, like construction waste, are usually transported to a separate facility to process. These Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) collect waste and sort it before recycling.

Other types of waste are collected and transported directly to the recycling facilities. These categories include materials like cardboard, plastic, glass, and compost.

Depending on the size of your company, it may make sense to invest in your own waste sorting and baling system to process your waste. These machines can reduce the amount of time and effort involved with waste sorting.


waste sorting


There are various types of industrial waste sorting systems available. Some of these include air separation systems that use fans to sort material by weight. Magnets are also used to separate different types of metals from non-metallic materials.

Waste is also sorted by screens and density separators to isolate different sizes of materials. For some waste materials, like wood and plastic, a shredder can reduce large items into much smaller pieces. This makes them easier to store and transport.

The sorted waste is then compressed into high-density bales. It is then transported to manufacturers, who use it as a raw material to make new products.

How to Develop a Waste Management Plan

Are you wondering how you can improve your company’s waste management? A waste management plan is the best way to evaluate your waste production. You can then develop solutions for dealing with your waste.

The first step is understanding the volume and type of waste that you produce. Measure how much of each category of waste you produce during a certain time period. You can then identify ways to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills.

One way to do this is simply to reduce the amount of waste your business produces. Is it possible to change the way you operate to generate less waste? By working with your suppliers you can suggest changes that will result in less unnecessary packaging.

Some countries, like the U.K., require companies that use or produce packaging at a certain volume to adhere to government regulations. These include reducing the amount of packaging that goes into landfills. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in criminal prosecution and fines.

Another option is identifying local businesses that can use the waste material that your company produces. By supplying them with this material you can recycle it directly with other local companies.

There are a growing number of private companies that work in partnership with local governments to process and recycle waste. By identifying these companies you can ensure that all your sorted waste is then collected and recycled.

Environmental Benefits of Waste Sorting

The biggest advantage to sorting waste is that more material is then recycled. This means that less waste goes into landfills. Sorting waste at the source results in a higher quality of material, as it keeps each category separate.

Landfills are environmental hazards that often have a negative effect on the local ecosystem. There are many examples of landfills leaking toxins into the surrounding soil and water systems.



These piles of garbage are also responsible for producing huge amounts of methane. This gas is a major contributor to greenhouse warming. It traps more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

The best way to reduce the size of landfills is to recycle as much waste material as possible. The first step in this process is efficient waste sorting. Through this it’s possible to transform what was previously considered to be rubbish into a valuable resource.

Why Is it Necessary to Sort Waste?

In some countries, waste sorting is not yet mandatory. Yet there is still an ethical obligation for companies to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. The EU is putting pressure on countries to comply with the objectives of the Waste Framework Directive.

This program aims to increase the amount of recycled waste in the EU. At the moment regulations vary from country to country. The trend is to make individual companies responsible for recovering and recycling their waste.

The objective is to increase the amount of recycled waste from the current 38% to 55% by 2025. This means that more stringent regulations regarding waste sorting and recycling will become mandatory in the near future.

How Does Waste Sorting Benefit Your Business?

Apart from the environmental aspect of waste sorting, there are also other advantages for your business. The most significant of these is reducing the cost involved with waste disposal.

By sorting and recycling the majority of your waste you’ll have less non-recyclable waste. That means paying less for having it removed every week.

There is also the possibility of generating revenue from your waste material. High-quality bales of recyclable material are increasingly valuable to manufacturers. As the circular economy grows there are more businesses willing to pay for these raw materials.

The most important aspect of selling your waste material is ensuring that it is well sorted and packaged. Manufacturers that use this waste need to know that every bale is the same category of material.

Another advantage of recycling is to improve your company’s image. Consumers are increasingly aware of the downstream waste involved with the products they buy. By publicly promoting the sustainability of your company you can improve the perception of your business.

Industries That Can Benefit from Waste Sorting and Baling

There are many types of businesses that value waste sorting and baling machines.

Some common applications are for distribution centers. These companies produce a large amount of cardboard packaging waste. The easiest way for them to improve the efficiency of their waste management system is by using an automated sorting and baling system.

For recycling centers, these machines are essential to sort and compress the material they handle. Baling machines are often used for a variety of different materials including plastic and metal.

Companies that manufacture insulation produce large amounts of waste material. By using a shredding machine to break apart these off-cuts it is possible to reuse them as a raw material.

Cardboard and paper mills also produce a huge volume of unwanted material. By using an automated sorting machine they can compress this cardboard waste. Good quality cardboard waste is then recycled into lower-grade chipboard.

Automobile manufacturers generate scraps of metal when pressing out metal components. This waste metal is difficult to handle without a baling machine. Once it’s compressed into a bale it’s much easier to transport and sell.

Does Your Business Need a Waste Sorting and Baling System?

Waste sorting is a vital part of the circular economy. By reusing and recycling more of our waste every business can contribute to this goal. As climate change threatens our way of life it is important for more companies to sort their waste and recycle.

Is your business looking for a way to automate your waste sorting and baling process?


Horizontal shear baler


ANIS is an internationally renowned company with over 25 years of experience. We specialise in building conveyor sorting and baling press machines. With over 350 installations we can tailor make a waste sorting and packaging system for your application.

Let us know what your requirements are by downloading our questionnaire and we will contact you.

Alternatively, speak to one of our team on +386(0) 1837 0020.