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Car Flattener or Car Baler? Exploring the Best Option for Efficient End of Life Vehicle Recycling

In vehicle recycling, two popular methods stand out: car flattening and car baling. Both techniques play a crucial role in the automotive industry’s sustainability efforts. However, understanding the key differences can help you decide which method suits your needs best. Bronneberg, a Netherlands-based creator and supplier of auto recycling machinery, delves into the intricacies of car flattening and car baling, examining their benefits.


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Car Flattening: Streamlined Efficiency and Resource Optimization


Car flattening is a process that involves compacting a vehicle into a flattened shape. This technique offers several advantages for efficient car recycling:

  1. Space Optimization

Car flattening significantly reduces the volume occupied by end-of-life vehicles [ELVs]. By compressing the car’s body into a flat shape, it minimizes the storage space required for transportation and subsequent processing.

  1. Scrap Metal Recycling

Flattened cars are primarily used for scrap metal recycling. A hammer mill shredder can more easily shred flattened cars compared to high-density bales. Smaller hammer mill shredding plants can process flattened cars, whereas they cannot process high-density bales.

  1. Easy to relocate

Car flatteners are easy to relocate due to their container hook lift system. This makes it easy to move the flattener to multiple locations easier than moving the cars.

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Car Baling: Versatile Recycling Solution with Added Benefits


Car baling, on the other hand, involves compressing vehicles into dense, cuboid packages using a hydraulic baler. This method presents its own set of advantages:

  1. Convenient Storage and Transportation

Baled cars are tightly compacted, allowing for efficient storage and transportation. The rectangular shape enables easy stacking and maximizes available space, resulting in cost savings during logistics.

  1. Processing Other Materials

One of the key benefits of car baling is the ability to produce bales from other non-ferrous metals like aluminium. Therefore, the machine can be used in more than one recycling activity.

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Choosing the Right Method for Your Car Recycling


Selecting between car flattening and car baling depends on various factors, including your specific goals, available resources, regional regulations, and the overall efficiency of your recycling operation. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Prioritize Efficiency

If optimizing space and streamlining logistics is your primary concern. It ensures effective storage and easy transportation of the car flattener, making it an excellent choice for operations dealing with large volumes of ELVs. Also, due to the continuous flattening cycle, a second car can already be loaded into the machine, reducing the machine’s downtime.

  1. Multiple Usage

If you have other non-ferrous metals, like aluminium, that you want to bale. You can use the baler to process other materials, which makes it more versatile. 

  1. Regional Regulations

Regulations for car recycling differ in countries. In some countries, the only option is to flatten the car because there must be a clear view of the content of the processed vehicle. 

Choosing between car flattening and car baling depends on your specific needs, objectives, and regulations. Car flattening excels in optimizing space, reducing waste, and facilitating scrap metal recycling. By understanding the differences between these methods, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and contributes to a sustainable automotive industry. Bronneberg is an expert in the recycling industry with over 75 years of experience. Contact them, and they will advise you on what solution suits your business needs.