ROGERS -- Refurbishing rather than replacing a material baler at the city's recycling center will save more than $300,000 while preventing future shutdowns, according to the facility superintendent.
Council members Tuesday approved moving forward with refurbishing the Max-Pak Baler by waiving the competitive bidding process to allow the manufacturer to rebuild the equipment and appropriating $180,000 from the city budget to cover the cost.
The hydraulic and electronic system components for the baler have been discontinued and if part of the system were to break, it would take at least six months to special order replacement parts, according to Jerrold Haley, recycling center superintendent.
The machine primarily bales cardboard, along with almost all of the other materials the city recycles such as plastics, metals, aluminum and tin, he said. It typically compresses 20 to 30 bales a day, and the average cardboard bale weighs 1,200 to 1,300 pounds, he said.
"Just being down for a couple days puts us pretty far behind, so being down six months would be catastrophic to our operation," Haley said.
A new baler would cost more than $500,000, Haley said. The equipment manufacturer will rebuild the hydraulic and electric systems for $159,597. The additional $20,000 will be used for rebuilding the motor and any contingencies, he said.
The rebuild is scheduled to take four to six weeks but could take up to 10 weeks, during which time the city will be processing recycling materials at Benton County Solid Waste District in Centerton, Haley said. The project will be less intrusive because of the county's partnership, said Mayor Greg Hines.