When you need a compactor for a very short time, renting one is a very good solution (from a local outlet such as C-TEC Compactors & Balers). The company brings the compactor to you and picks it up when you are done. If you have never had a compactor rental, there are some rules you need to follow with some very specific reasons why.
No Metal Objects
Unless you ordered and requested a metal compactor specifically, you should not put any metal into your compactor rental. Most compactors of the commercial kind are meant to compress lots of boxes and cardboard items, not metal. The metal objects can become jammed up inside the compactor's moving parts, causing it to become stuck mid-compression or creating a very dangerous situation that could result in injury or death. You should also refrain from putting cardboard with large metal staples in the compactor. Remove all of the staples first, and then the cardboard can be compressed with the rest.
Nothing Flammable or Combustible
You may be puzzled about the rule of "nothing flammable or combustible", since cardboard itself is flammable. However, this rule refers to any oily, greasy or easily ignitable source. For example, your receiving bay receives a shipment of several cases of auto oil. One or two of those cases were damaged in shipping, and now you have several cardboard boxes that are soaked with the oil. If you place these inside the compactor and then place a completed bale of cardboard outside on an extremely hot, dry day, or someone smoking a cigarette stands a little too close to this bale, it could go up in smoke in a hurry. Just keep anything that is saturated with a highly flammable or combustible substance out of the compactor, and out of the cardboard bales it produces.
No Glass or Plastic (Even If It Is Attached to Cardboard)
The whole purpose to a cardboard compactor is to reduce and recycle cardboard. Cardboard does not always come separate from other materials. Sometimes promotional signs, cutouts and displays made of cardboard have plastic or glass components. If these special displays are not picked up by any vendor and you can recycle them, you will have to remove the plastic and/or glass parts before placing the cardboard parts of the display into the contractor. The reason is that crushing glass or plastic could create projectiles out of these items as the compactor crushes them, leading to more injury. Rule of thumb: If it is not entirely cardboard, do not put it in the compactor.