Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard is a generic term which refers to paper-based products having greater thickness and superior durability. Examples of cardboard include different types of boxes, for example, packaging boxes, egg cartons, shoe boxes, and cereal boxes. Cardboard is a recyclable material. Cardboard recycling is reprocessing and reuse of thick sheets or rigid multilayered papers that have been used or disposed of as waste.

Types of Cardboard

There are two types of cardboard. The first type is known as corrugated cardboard. It is a three-layer sandwich of cardboard and used to make brown packing box. The other kind of cardboard is called paperboard which is known as chipboard. Instead of multilayer, it is a single layer of gray cardboard. This type is used to make things like cereal boxes, shoe boxes, and other packages.

Advantages of cardboard recycling

Reuse and Environmental conservation

Cardboard recycling reduces the use of landfill spaces. According to some recycling advocates, every ton of recycled cardboard saves nine cubic yards of landfill space. Recycling also helps to maintain cleanliness of the environment and boosts healthy human surroundings. The cardboard materials are biodegradable. As a result, cardboard recycling reduces environmental footprint.

Environmental footprint or carbon footprint is essentially the same thing. Carbon footprint is the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Level of increase of carbon in the air is the main reason for global warming.

Recycling cardboard also helps environmental conservation. Raw materials used in manufacturing cardboard are trees. So, recycling cardboard means saving more trees from felling.

Saves Energy

Some cardboard comes from nearly 100% recycled materials. While the majority has an average of 70% to 90%. Because of the highest percentage of cardboard recyclability, the amount of energy required for producing corrugated packing product is reducing drastically. Many recycling advocates say that recycling cardboard saves 25% of the energy required to make new cardboard. You may skeptic with this statistics but it is a common sense that recycling cardboard is more energy efficient than cutting down trees to make virgin paper or cardboard products.

What do you need to do before cardboard recycling?

Cardboard boxes can be recycled at any stage but recycling collectors prefer that cardboard boxes be flattened before collection. Also, you can leave items like tape, labels on the cardboard because they will be removed at the recycling center. In addition, some collection companies require cardboard to be tied or taped together to prevent the wind from making a mess.

Step by step process of cardboard recycling

Below are step by step process of cardboard recycling


The first step of recycling cardboard is the collection. Recycling company collects the disposable cardboard at designated cardboard collection points. After collection, waste cardboards will come to the recycling facilities.


The recycling facility sorts the cardboards into two categories: corrugated cardboard and boxboard. The basis of this classification is the material which they use to produce the cardboard. Box boards are thin and have uses for cardboard drink containers or cereals boxes. While corrugated boxes are bigger and thicker. We mainly use them for packaging transport goods. Sorting is important because what kind of materials will come depends on the type of cardboard.

Shredding and pulping

After the sorting, the next two consecutive steps are shredding and pulping. Shredding is the process of cutting down cardboard into minute pieces. After shredding, the next step is pulping. In this process, it has to mix the finely shredded pieces of paper with water and chemicals. That will turn into a slurry substance. The slurry substance or pulp material has to blend with new pulp. Generally from wood chips that help the resulting substance to solidify and become firmer.

Filtering and de-inking

The pulpy material is the pass through a comprehensive filtering process to get rid of all foreign materials present as well as impurities, for example, strings, tape or glue. The pulp then goes into a chamber where centrifugal process applies to remove contaminants like plastics and metal staple. Centrifugal forces cause the plastic to float on top while the heavy metal staples fall to the bottom. Then eliminating both items becomes quite easy.

The next process is de-inking. De-inking, as the name implies, is the process of taking away any form of dyes or ink. It will happen by putting the pulp in a floatation device made up of chemicals. That will take away dyes or ink via a series of filtering and screening. The de-inking process is the cleaning process. Since this process cleans the pulp thoroughly to get it ready for the final processing stage.

Final stage

At the final stage, you have to blend the purged pulp with new production materials. And then put it to dry on a flat conveyor belt. During the pulp drying process, it will pass through an automated machine. That will press out excess water and speed up the formation. The linerboards will glue together, layer by layer to make a new piece of cardboard.

In another process, the medium will come as the corrugated sheet. That will pass through two huge metal rolls with teeth to give the ridges. Linerboards will glue over the medium which acts as the thin outer covering. Alternatively, boxboard manufactures take both linerboards and mediums and complete the manufacturing process by use of machines that shape and create the crease along pattern folds to make the boxes for packaging or transporting products.

When you cannot recycle cardboard?

You cannot always recycle corrugated cardboard and paperboard. For example, pizza boxes and other food containers often have grease that makes them useless for recycling. Also, when cardboard containers have a coat of wax or other substances, it is very difficult to recycle them.

Other cardboard containers, for example, milk cartons, juice containers are resin or wax-coated and are not always recyclable. Some recycling collectors do not accept cardboard or paperboard that is wet.

List Of Cardboard Recycling Center

Whenever we need cardboard recycling, often time we search by the phrase cardboard recycling near me or cardboard recycling center near me. Below is a list of top carboard center in all 50 states of the United States. This list will help you to find a center easily no matter which state you live in.

States Top cardboard recycling center
Alabama Waste Recycling INC
Alaska Alaskans for Litter Prevention & Recycling/ALPAR
Arizona Arizona Cardboard boxes
Arkansas Smurfit Kappa
California OC Recycling
Colorado Spring waste system
Connecticut Windsor Sanitation
Delaware Delaware solid waste authority
Florida Miami waste paper
Georgia Georgia Recycling solutions
Hawaii Honolulu Disposal Service


Idaho Western Recycling
Illinois Combined Resources Inc
Indiana Metro Recycling
Iowa Metro Waste Authority
Kansas Pro Kansas Recycling center
Kentucky Southern Recycling
Louisiana Recycle Solutions
Maine Ecomaine
Maryland Baltimore Rolloff and Recycling Center(BRC)
Massachusetts Recycling works Massachusetts
Michigan Pallets N More
Minnesota Rethink Recycling
Mississippi Greenwood Leflore Recycling
Missouri Liberty Recycling Center
Montana Valley Recycling
Nebraska First-star recycling
Nevada Nevada Recycling
New Hampshire Nashua recycling center
New Jersey Reliable paper recycling
New Mexico Town recycling LLC
New York Empire state cardboard paper recycling corp
North Carolina Carolina Fibre Corporation
North Dakota North Dakota recycling services
Ohio Royal paper stock
Oklahoma Oklahoma county recyclers
Oregon Calyton-ward Recycling centers
Pennsylvania Stanson paper processing LLC
Rhode Island Warwick sanitation & recycling
South Carolina ICE Recycling
South Dakota Missouri Valley Recycling Center


Tennessee Millington Recycling Center
Texas Texas recycling
Utah Rocky mountain recycling
Vermont Jay recycling
Virginia Four Season recycling
Washington Cascade recycling center
West Virginia Berkeley County(WV) Solid Waste Authority
Wisconsin Golper supply Company
Wyoming WYCO Recycling


Recycle cardboard is good for our planet. It helps to conserve resources, create jobs and reduces environmental pollution. Business conglomerate recycles items as part of their CSR or corporate social responsibility. Recycling also helps them to save money on waste disposal costs.

Apart from the environmental issue and other benefits of cardboard recycling, the process is economically beneficial to you also. Instead of disposing of cardboard, you can send them to the local recycling center as most of the waste recycling center accept them and you can get paid from the recycling center.


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