HSM Automated Balers: 1,000 Tons Cardboard per Month

Recycling plays a crucial role at Sports Direct International’s distribution center in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire. The company is the UK‘s largest sporting goods retailer and operates a diversified portfolio of sports, fitness, fashion and lifestyle brands.

Each month the retailer collects around 800 to 1,000 tons of cardboard, for which they use HSM machines to manage their waste from across 1,000 stores across the UK. Recycling plays a major part in the organization’s corporate responsibilities. The company’s “strict” recycling standards means all UK stores are monitored closely, ensuring there is no cross-contamination between recyclable materials such as wood, cardboard or plastics, to name but a few.

Martyn Joyce: If any complications arise, HSM’s service team will respond promptly. With 2,200 bales produced each month, this has helped to improve productivity and decrease downtime of the baling machines which are in continuous operation (Photo: HSM)

The company’s Shirebrook headquarter contains nine HSM automated balers for cardboard and five V-Press models for plastic waste with the latter recycling up to 40 tons each month and around 480 tons annually. According to the information, 2,200 bales are produced monthly across all baler machines within the warehouse.

The entry-level “Mill Size” Model HSM VK 4812 automated baler incorporated an in-line feeding conveyor as part of HSM’s design. This ensured that the full working width of existing Sports Direct dock levelers was optimized and resulted in the creation of an exceptionally large charging area to enhance speed of loading, increased capacities and, above all, to achieve real labor savings by eliminating a need to tie-off bales manually. Some solutions within Sports Direct were further adapted to accept packaging via mezzanine gravity discharge chutes permitting two waste streams to be processed simultaneously. From a logistical perspective, each baler is assigned to different locations within the distribution center, to improve productivity and decrease downtime.Akin to the cardboard and plastic balers, around 150 tons of dry mixed recycling is put through the site’s balers each month, before being sent out to a third party who will “recycle as much as they can out of it”, Facility Manager at Sports Direct, Martyn Joyce, informed. “The cardboard boxes produced here do not have any rubbish in them such as plastics or staples, so we’ve had no issue selling our products because of their great quality.”

Sports Direct acquired its first HSM Baler in 2000, which “paid for itself in no time”, according to Martyn, who has been responsible for the management of waste in the company for more than 14 years. One of the changes made more recently to this system was mainly for utilizing a more efficient and sustainable “automated” recycling method to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint, rather than flat packing cardboard and placing it into open-top skips.


(GR12020, Page 58, Photo: HSM)