A new electric wood waste grinder at Hay Creek Companies will improve efficiency while keeping zero waste a priority. Wood pallets have been a vital part of the logistics industry in getting crucial supplies to hospitals, stores, and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what happens to a pallet when it wears out or breaks after repeated use?
We manufacture new wood pallets and repair and recondition some older pallets. But when a wood pallet has outlived its service for shipping, it’s still useful. Gone are the days when old pallets were incinerated or tossed in landfills. Over the years, businesses such as ours have learned how to use every scrap of wood, turning it into shavings that can be used for wood pellets for bioenergy and also bedding for cattle. To make wood fuel, the scrap wood shavings are compressed under high pressure in a pellet mill.
This past week, a team from Rotochopper, Inc. was on site to install a new EC-366 electric grinder at the Hay Creek Companies main plant in Pittsville, Wis. A newly constructed area of the factory houses the machine.
“Having this at our main location instead of at a previous work site several miles from here will save on handling and transportation and help us to be efficient with the recycling process,” said Tom Gardner, president of Hay Creek Companies.
Broken wood pallets are loaded into the hopper on the EC-366, and the machine grinds them into wood shavings. Through a series of magnets, nails and metal are sorted out from the shavings and recycled separately.
“Broken pallet recycling for use as a fuel source is good for the environment, since wood is a sustainable resource,” Gardner said.
Mike Hundt, Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Rotochopper, said the energy costs of an electric powered grinder “are typically about one-third to one-half of the expense of running a diesel-powered grinder. Also, the noise factor is much lower, and there is no exhaust inside a building.”
Cleaner Operation, Simplified Maintenance
Gardner said, “This machine features a cleaner operation than the model we use for landscape mulch, and it provides simplified maintenance and lower operating costs,” something that will help Hay Creek Companies increase its production of biofuel and animal bedding.
Hundt was on site when the new grinder was started up for the first time. He said the "Perfect in One Pass" technology of this machine means a customer “can turn waste wood into an acceptable, saleable product with one trip through the machine.”
Being able to control the particle size of the finished product without needing multiple passes is part of why Gardner chose this model for his company. The other reason is the personalized customer service he receives from Rotochopper. “In an economy that has many unstable aspects, it’s a blessing to continue to grow and expand our operation, and it’s encouraging to work with a vendor that not only provides product sales but a is vital partnership with our business,” Gardner said.
Demo video from Rotochopper
Hay Creek Companies is a full-service pallet manufacturing and repair operation and manufactures premium wood pellets, landscape mulch, and animal bedding by recycling wood waste material.