BeyondBottles Bulky Sept12

Residential Bulky Rigid Plastics - Frequently Asked Questions


What types of items are considered Bulky Rigid Plastics?

Bulky Rigid is the term that refers to oversized HDPE and PP items and containers. According to the APR Design® Guide for Plastics Recyclability, any item over 5 gallons is considered “Bulky.” Examples include: crates, buckets, baskets, totes, and lawn furniture.

Plastics grouping bulky

Are toys allowed in the Bulky Rigid bales?

Small toys may contain other plastic parts that are not PP or HDPE. They may also contain metals, including screws and axles, as well as batteries that may harm the processing equipment. However, large plastic play items such as slides and “Big Wheel” type trikes are allowed.

Is corrugated HDPE pipe considered a Bulky Rigid?

Some markets accept corrugated pipe, and others do not. Check with your buyer to ensure their specifications for Bulky Rigid bales.

Why are there two APR Model Bale Specifications for Bulky Rigids?

APR offers two model bale specs to represent the current buyers market. The industry has a specification for a higher grade bale, consisting mainly of HDPE, as well as an alternative option with more allowable items. Both options have proven consistent markets.

What type of Bulky Rigid Bale Model Bale specification should I use at my MRF?

Although the HDPE Injection Grade Bulky Rigid Bale has higher value in the market, a Mixed Grade Bale will result in a greater volume of material generated in the bales. You should consult the Buyers and Sellers Information available on the APR website to evaluate the market value as well as your processing and logistics costs. Not all buyers take Mixed Grade Bales or vice versa.

How can I guide my staff to pull out the correct material?

APR suggests you instruct your staff that all plastic containers or pieces that require both hands to pull from the line are more likely to be considered bulky rigids. Although this provides a method to quickly identify bulky rigids, there are exceptions to this rule. Because recycling machinery, particularly automatic sorting equipment, is not large enough to accept items larger than two gallons most bulky rigid plastics are removed from the line manually. You may find it helpful to evaluate what is being pulled and compare it with market specs and value.

How much contamination is permitted on buckets and totes?

Heavy residual like paint, cement or solids are not permitted.

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