OCC Recycling

Market Overview

OCC (Old Corrugated Containers), or cardboard is a very common material in the recycling industry. It is generated in many different industries including manufacturing, food production, produce, shipping and more. With the increase in goods being purchased online and delivered directly to consumers the volume of cardboard has increased as well. With consumption of cardboard increasing it appears OCC will be a high volume market in the future.

Market Challenges

The value of OCC is low compared to the density of the natural product. Before OCC can be shipped to a mill it needs to be baled so that it has a better density and can maximize weight on a truck. OCC is often bulky and causes more processing time per lb. than other recycling commodities. It is important to try and minimize processing and handling time to maximize the value of the material. Like any recycling commodity the value of OCC can fluctuate greatly. One cause of this can be the ability to get virgin fiber. When virgin fiber is easily and inexpensively available it drives the price of OCC down. One of the largest factors on the OCC market is the export market. When OCC is in high demand from foreign purchasers it reduces the supply domestically, which in turn increases the price for both domestic and export OCC markets.

Market Compliancy

Contamination is a big issue for OCC compliance. During the collection, sorting, and baling process other types of recyclables and trash can get mixed in with the OCC. These materials are not accepted by OCC mills and can cause reduction of value or even rejection of the entire load. Moisture content can also be an issue for OCC. If OCC is left in an environment where it can soak up water like outside or in damp areas it can increase the moisture content above what is accepted by mills. The water increases the weight which is how OCC is valued. So if the moisture content is above what a mill accepts they will reduce the value of the load based on the assumption that there is too much water weight.

Fluent Conveyors Solutions

With a low natural density OCC needs to have processing and handling time minimized to maximize profitability on the material. If you spend too much time moving and processing OCC the profitability and environmental offsets disappear quickly. Depending on the tonnages/volume in the facility, slider bed conveyors typically provide enough processing capabilities when combined with either a horizontal or a single ram auto-tie baler. However with a higher volume or heavy product a roller chain conveyor with either a combo or steel belt may be a better option. Let the Fluent Conveyors Dealer Channel help guide you with the correct equipment to meet your short term and long-term goals. Our channel wants to make sure your capital equipment budget allows you to purchase the correct recycling equipment.

In more complex solutions, the dealer channel may leverage the Fluent Conveyors engineering team to supply custom designs that may contain additional equipment such as sort lines, OCC screens, paper screens etc. Each application varies as do the solutions for the specific customer.

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