The Cardboard Baler

The Cardboard Baler Case Study


This business case report was a capstone project prepared by students of the Management Studies (MGST) 615 course. The project explores the economic and environmental feasibility of the university purchasing a cardboard baler by focusing on the recycling of cardboard materials at the Dining Centre Building, which accounts for around 75% of its total volume of mixed recyclables. This analysis aims to understand how best the University of Calgary can approach its goal to become a zero-waste campus, and its goals to divert 90% of the overall waste generated on campus. According to the report, all the packaged food arriving at the University Dining Centre comes in cardboard boxes, which are sent to the compactor that has a high cost for its use and service, making it much less efficient than a cardboard baler. A cardboard baler compresses cardboard waste until it is small and compact which reduces the space taken up by the waste, therefore reducing overall costs of waste collection.


The students employed the Feasibility Analysis Framework (FAF), Technology Selection Methodology, and Risk Assessment Framework to create an effective feasibility study. The feasibility framework evaluated five major areas: Technical, Economic Operational, Economic Environmental, Organizational feasibility, and Risk Assessment.

The analysis was done with waste data collected from 2019, focusing on important factors such as haulage costs, and the volume of cardboard waste accumulated. Based on their analysis, the students determined that a cardboard baler was a feasible option and would help advance UCalgary’s approach towards sustainability. After considering different technologies, the students recommended purchasing the Bramidian B6030 vertical baler for cardboard recycling, as it was determined to be the best-suited technology for the project.

Next Steps:

This project helps provide an effective solution for the university regarding cardboard waste management. The feasibility assessment conducted by the students helps set forth a framework for cardboard baler use that, if replicated, can be used in different spaces on campus, and help advance the University of Calgary’s goal to become a more sustainable campus.

Further research and studies should be conducted to increase certainty in the feasibility and performance of a cardboard baler, and its effectiveness in helping achieve sustainability goals. The report also discussed exploring the possibility of a solar-powered option, which would help reduce the overall energy costs associated with operating the baler.