Middleton Baler helps improve waste recycling for Thatchers Cider

British family cider maker, Thatchers Cider, has contracted Middleton Engineering to supply and install an 80 tonne baler and slider-bed feed conveyor at its Myrtle Farm cider mill in Somerset, to compact and bale waste packaging materials at source, prior to shipment to re-processors.

Sustainability and the environment are core concerns for the 100 year old cider maker which today employs over 200 staff producing a range of premium ciders including Thatchers Gold, available across the UK and to a growing customer base overseas.

The Middleton ME80 closed end semi-automatic baler will help to further improve environmental practices, cutting the dependency on external waste processors to collect and bale packaging waste, in turn reducing the number of vehicle movements, and giving the company greater control  over its ability to deal with production by-products.

Neil Day, Operations Director at Thatchers Cider explains: “Sustainability is vitally important to our business and nothing goes to waste. For example pomace from our cider presses, the solid residue once all the juice is extracted, goes to cattle feed and prunings from the orchards are used to fire our biomass boiler. The new baler allows us to take charge of our packaging waste, means we can recycle more and pushes the whole company into thinking about waste and the environment.”

Middleton Engineering was selected following industry recommendations, but also as a local Somerset business with a good reputation for quality and service. Installed and up and running just 12 weeks from initial order, the new machine provides a robust, small footprint, solution capable of delivering consistent mill size bales  and achieving maximum bale weights for optimal onwards transportation.

Part of the installation has included a bespoke conveyor to feed the baler and designed specifically for the size of cardboard the company deals with. Currently Thatchers Cider is baling around five tonnes of cardboard packaging waste and one tonne of plastic waste each week, which in turn is creating a new revenue stream for the business.

Neil Day and his team have been very pleased with the experience. “The new machine has been operating smoothly for some weeks. Essential safety training and the overall experience of dealing with Middleton Engineering, including service and support, has been excellent,” he added.


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