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Waste Management Improvements in Romania

Romanian Waste Management firm Iridex Group Export Import outgrew their waste storage solution, ultimately jeopardizing their environmental-focused reputation. But by pure chance, came to spot their future solution; Orkel high-density round bales using an Orkel Hi-X evo!

Chitila, Romania

Outside the Romanian capital you will find the city of Chitila, an area with a central role in terms of Romanian industry and logistics.  

Iridex Group Import Export, a subsidiary company of the larger Iridex Group, is one of the many companies you will find in this buzzing, industrialized area.

Iridex Group Import Export (from now on referred to as Iridex), was founded in 1990, and with more than 500 employees stationed across the country, it is apparent that Iridex is driven by entrepreneurial and market-oriented spirits.

Six people in yellow safety vests posing in front of a tall pile of household, working on waste management
Representatives of the Iridex team in front of one of Iridex' waste landfills.

Iridex: Area of Expertise

Among its many areas of expertise, Iridex is responsible for what they refer to as “the most important integrated waste management center in Romania.” The center is responsible for processing the waste of close to 1,000,000 inhabitants of the area, constituting about 1000 tons of municipal solid waste per working day, or approximately 120,000 tons every year!

Their recently upgraded plant, however, if operated at maximum capacity, can handle 240,000 tons waste annually, allowing the company plenty of room to grow.

And for this expansion-focused company, enhancement is a buzzword.

A Hi-X evo compactor in an industrial location under a blue sky.
Iridex baling waste with their new Orkel Hi-X evo.

Insufficient Waste Storage

After the process of waste sorting, an essential part of Iridex’ waste management is shipping the categories to waste-to-energy plants. One of their main customer groups are cement plants, who depend on efficient waste shipping to their incinerators for energy generation.

Iridex was accustomed to utilizing traditional waste balers to pack the waste material. However, two issues kept resurfacingStorage capacity and storage quality.

Storage Capacity

For any plant with significantly sized incinerators, it is necessary to schedule an annual maintenance, pausing all operation. For Iridex’ customers, this means pausing all waste intake for weeks at a time.

For Iridex, this represents a challenge within waste storage. Storage limitation is especially crucial for a company who is a proud owner of what they call an “ecological landfill”; Landfills using modern technologies and processes to ensure environmental safety of the surrounding area.

Storage Quality

If you are not conserving optimally, prolonged storage of waste risks flyaway and runoff, threatening the reputation of any environment-focused business.

At Iridex’ plant, their small waste presses could no longer provide storage quality, jeopardizing the environmental security of the landfill. As the issues started accumulating, they soon found themselves in need of a solution to meet their waste sorting capacity.

That is when Iridex’ Waste Management Specialist and Chief of MSW Plant Stefan Mihai-Toader spotted a truck loaded with bales as it drove past him.

A stack of white round bales.
Iridex' stack of waste bales made using their Hi-X evo compactor.

Spotting the Solution

He swung around and managed to catch up with the driver, who turned out to be an employee of the agricultural firm SC Agromania. Being introduced to the Orkel compactor, Mr. Mihai-Toader immediately began his research leading him to contact the Orkel Sales dept.

After thorough consultation and considering the needs of Iridex, Iridex determinately ordered an Orkel Hi-X evo, making them one of the final Orkel customers in December of 2020.

A month passed, and their Orkel Hi-X evo arrived safely together with an Orkel technician to complete the commissioning of their new compactor. And finally, on January 27th, 2021, Iridex’ first Orkel high-density bale was made.

The Benefits of Baling Waste

Volume of the waste is being reduced significantly.

When compacted, the waste require less storage space. Bales can be stacked vertically, and stored anywhere, without polluting the surroundings.

Due to reduced volume, the waste is easier and more efficient to transport. The wrapping makes sure that the waste stays within the bale.

Baling 800kg Waste Bales

The Iridex plant is usually sorting from 22-25 tons of waste every working hour. At the end of their production line is the Orkel compactor, where most processed waste is baled for optimal storage and transport.

Since initiating the waste baling, Iridex has managed to bale well over 3000 bales each month, approximately 800 kilograms per bale! The best part is that they view themselves as still in the implementation stage!

A person in a yellow safety vest posing with a "thumb's up" in front of stacked round bales, working on waste management
Ing. Mihai-Toader Stefan, Iridex' Waste Management Specialist and Chief of MSW Plant.

Cleaner Perimeter

Mr. Mihai-Toader confirms that their high expectations of the machine have been met; “The possibility for us to store RDF for medium and long periods has been a huge improvement to our waste handling.”

He continues: “Due to the fact that the bales are sealed, the perimeter of the sorting station is cleaner, there is less wastewater, fewer unpleasant odors, and easier handling and transport, which the environmental authorities appreciate.”

Future Expansion

Despite Iridex Group Import Export currently being in the implementation stage, they are not rejecting the possibility of needing another Orkel compactor.

Additionally, The Orkel team was thrilled to hear that some of Iridex’ sister companies are curious on the Hi-X evo. “I’ve already recommended Orkel technology on a few occasions!” he finishes.

The Orkel Team is excited on your behalf and wishes Iridex all the luck for the future!

Waste management with Orkel: A Hi-X evo compactor in an industrial location under a blue sky
The Orkel Hi-X evo, located at the end of Iridex' production line.