Putting Gravity to Work

How the vertical well of a Molok® container leads to much higher storage density than surface bins — and why that matters

Most of us have, at one time or another, stomped down on the waste in a household or office trash bin to make more room. By applying a downward force to reduce the volume of space that the waste occupied, we increased the density of the material in the bin.

As the bin continues to fill up, we might press it down again, squishing the fresh layers of material and further compacting the older material underneath.

This fill-and-squish cycle allows us to store more waste in the container’s fixed volume and, by doing so, puts off the act of emptying the bin until a later date.

But what does that have to do with Molok® containers?

Meaningful economic impact from natural, around-the-clock compaction

Every model in the Molok® Deep Collection™ system stores waste in a vertical shaft, the larger proportion of which is hidden underground. In addition to keeping the bulk of the container’s volume out of sight, this design has the added benefit that the mass of the newer material on top presses down on the older material underneath — except rather than being applied only occasionally and by a leg, this compressive force is applied around the clock by gravity.

But wait, there’s more!

Another benefit of having fresh waste ‘layer’ on top of older waste is that the fresh waste acts as a cap on the older waste, which is one of several reasons why Molok® containers don’t become ‘nose sores.’

The real-world impact of this 24×7 compaction is pretty astonishing. For example:

  • A garbage mix inside a Molok® container can be 1.5 to 2 times more dense than in a conventional surface container;
  • Recyclables and organics are each often 1.25 times more dense; and
  • Cardboard can reach 3 times the density it would have in a surface bin!

Being able to store more waste in the same fixed volume has a meaningful effect on the economics of waste management because — just as in the waste bin example — more capacity means less frequent collections, and less frequent collections means lower collection costs.

But wait, there’s more!

Lowering collection frequency is just one way Molok® containers contribute to significantly lower waste management costs.

The Molok® difference

While gravity will apply a downward force on the material within any waste container — carts, bins, dumpsters, etc. — the effect is minimal because there generally isn’t enough material and the material is spread out over a larger cross section.

In a Molok® container, though, things are different.

First, the Safe Working Load (SWL) of a Molok® lifting liner can reach 1,250 kg, so waste at the bottom can conceivably have more than 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs!) of material above it — pressing down relentlessly, unforgivingly, inexorably … you get the picture.

Second, the cylindrical well of the Molok® container minimizes the cross-sectional area over which the downward forces are applied, maximizing the pressure (force per unit area) and — as a direct consequence — maximizing the compaction. Plus, the lifting liners oppose the outward ‘push’ of the waste material within (remember Newton’s third law of motion?), further concentrating the forces.

Working in tandem, this combination — lots of mass applying force across a small cross-sectional area — results in pressure and natural compaction that doesn’t occur in other containers.