May 30, 2019

Reducing By-Products and Greenhouse Gas Emissions with Cardboard Balers


At Burnbrae Farms we are proud to produce nutritious affordable eggs for Canadians while working to protect and enrich the environment. As part of that commitment, we closely monitor energy and water use, divert waste from landfills, recycle and compost egg shells, and reuse the water used to wash the eggs.  One of our major commitments is our extensive program for reusing and recycling cardboard and plastic, done through baling our waste.

History of Baling

Baling originates back to the 19 th century, when hay was cut by hand and stored in hay stacks on the farms. From here, mechanical devices such as mowers and balers were developed and by 1874, what is now commonly known as hay balers, had been commercialized. Hay balers are a piece of farm equipment that is used to compress cut and raked crops into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport, and store. Over the last 100 years, the technology behind balers has developed to be used for more than just hay.

Today at Burnbrae Farms, the same principles that were once used to bale hay are now applied to baling recyclables. Although the technology has evolved, the idea remains the same, compacting large quantities of product to store and use in the most efficient way.

What Is Industrial Baling and How Does It Work?

An industrial baler is a piece of equipment which compacts recyclables and is often used in recycling facilities. This equipment uses a similar process as hay baling. However, industrial balers can compact used cardboard into cubes which are sold back to our suppliers who will take the used cardboard and re-introduce it into their material stream networks, allowing for the cardboard to be repurposed and reused.

Why Do We Bale Our By-Products?

There are many benefits to baling the by-products of our production.

First, by baling our cardboard, we can re-introduce the by-products back into their networks. This allows for the cardboard to be repurposed and reused instead of creating new by-products each production cycle.

Additionally, this process is cost avoidance, in that we do not pay the associated recycling and transportation fees for this material.  Not only do we reduce our costs in associated fees for this material, but we also reduce third party greenhouse gas emissions since there are less trucking miles incurred by the waste services company to remove the material.  We also can reload trucks that come in with cardboard used in the shipping and production processes with bales being sold back to the network, allowing us to reduce the number of trucks and greenhouse gases produced.

Finally, depending on the municipality or region our production is in, we also can bale plastic wrap, which again is reintroduced into the production cycle .

Why Do We Do This?

Corporate Social Responsibility is incredibly important to us because the land, the air and the water are all gifts that we’ve been given and we need to protect them for future generations. This is a responsibility we take seriously at Burnbrae Farms.

“We are impressed with the results of this project!  Installing cardboard balers in our facilities across the country has enabled us to re-introduce cardboard directly back into the supplier’s supply chain. It has allowed us to reduce costs along with greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the number of kilometres driven required to recycle these materials. Ultimately, this project has allowed us to become even more environmentally friendly. The team has done a tremendous job! - Jason Hinton, Senior Director of Corporate Purchasing & Distribution

Baling is just one of the many programs we have developed, in order to divert thousands of tonnes of waste, keeping nearly 95% of our waste out of the landfill. Our goal is ultimately reducing waste to landfill to 0% by 2025.