Cardboard Recycling Process – Complete Guide

Cardboard recycling involves the act of collecting and processing cardboard materials that can be disposed or thrown away as trash or waste and turning them into new products for use or income.

This practice will not only benefit the community but can also benefit our environment.

Cardboard recycling can simply be defined as the act of reusing and reprocessing of thick sheets that have been previously used, disposed or are no longer of good use but rather seen as waste.

Cardboard boxes are normally thick sheets of paper known for their durability and hardness.

One of the most common benefits of recycling cardboard is that it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Landfill sites are usually harmful to the local environment through air and water pollution, so by recycling more of cardboard, less it ends up in landfill which tend to lessen the damaging effects.

Cardboard, can also be referred to as corrugated cardboard which according to recyclers is a recyclable material that is recycled by small and large-scale businesses or organizations to save money on waste disposal costs.

Examples of some cardboard items include packaging boxes, egg cartons, shoe boxes, and cereal boxes.

Read Also: Styrofoam Recycling Comprehensive Guide

Steps involved in Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard Recycling Process - Complete Guide

The steps involved in cardboard recycling may include;

1. Collection

The collection is usually the first step in recycling cardboard. Recyclers and businesses or organizations collect the waste cardboard at a particular or assigned cardboard collection point.

The majority of the collection points may include trash bins, stores, scrap yards, and commercial places or outlets that generate cardboard waste.

After collection, they are then properly measured and taken to recycling facilities, mostly paper mills.

At this, there are different types of cardboard that are accepted, while some are not usually accepted depending on how they are normally used or manufactured. For example, cardboard that is waxed and coated or used for food packaging are not accepted in most cases as they pass through the different special and acceptable recycling process.

2. Sorting

Once these corrugated boxes arrive at the recycling facility, they are selected according to the materials they are made of.

In most cases, they are categorized into corrugated cardboard and boxboard.

Boxboards are those ones that are usually thin such as those used for cardboard drink containers or cereals boxes.

Corrugated boxes are bigger and stiffer, they are commonly used for packaging transport goods that are transported.

The selection of cardboard is very important since paper mills manufacture different grades of materials based on the materials that are being recovered.

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3. Shredding and Pulping

After sorting is done, the next step is to cut or tear them into small pieces, and then the pulping process follows.

Shredding is done to break down the cardboard paper fibers into small and tiny pieces.

Once the material is finely and perfectly shredded into pieces, it is then mixed with water and chemicals to break down the paper fibers that turn it into a thick liquid substance.

4. Filtering and Conterminal Removal

The material is being crushed so that it becomes soft and wet, then it is taken through a designed filtering process in order to get rid of all the foreign materials that are usually present as well as all impurities such as tape or glue.

The material crushed so that it becomes soft and wet (pulp) further goes into a chamber where a substance that can contaminate or make something impure like plastics and metals staples are then removed through a separated -like process.

The Plastics normally float on top while the heavy metal staples fall to the bottom, after which they are removed or destroyed.

5. Finishing for Reuse

At this stage or level, the cleaned pulp is then mixed with new production materials after which it is then put to dry on a flat surface and heated surfaces.

Read Also: How to Make Money from Electronics Recycling (E-waste Recycling)

Advantages of Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard Recycling Process - Complete Guide

1. Saves Landfill Space

Cardboard recycling helps to reduce the throwing away of cardboard waste in landfills. Cardboard recycling helps to improve the cleanliness of the environment and promotes healthy human surroundings for easy living.

2. Environmental Conservation

The cardboard materials are 100% recyclable. It reduces the environmental footprint and loss of substances by offering what is commonly known as “green” packaging solutions.

Recycling cardboard also offers a basic solution to environmental conservation by preserving natural resources due to its highest reuse percentage in producing new cardboard products.

3. Promotes the Use of Renewable Materials

4. Saves Energy

The amount of energy required for producing shaped packing products is greatly reduced, and the saved energy can be used in the manufacture of other resources.

The Recycling process of cardboard requires only 75% of the energy required to make new cardboard. The recycling process of cardboard requires 90% less water and 50% less electric power needed to make them.

5. Creates Job Opportunities

Recycling creates a lot of job opportunities for people right from the collection of the waste cardboard until the collected product reaches the market. It also adds to the economic stability and growth of the country.

Read Also: Metal Recycling Process Complete Guide

Cardboard Recycling Near Me

Looking for a free cardboard recycling near me? Cardboard is one of the most common materials found in American homes according to researchers, due to the fact that virtually everything you purchase comes in packaging made of cardboard.

Most cardboard can and should always be recycled whenever possible. If you are fortunate enough to have curbside pickup of your recyclable items then you should always break down your cardboard boxes into smaller pieces and place them into these bins for recycling.

If your home is in an area where you do not have any recycling or if you have a very large amount of cardboard to recycle you may want to locate a local cardboard recycling center near me /you for assistance.

Where Can I Recycle Cardboard in My Area?

Virtually every local center will accept all paper and cardboard products if properly prepared and made ready for recycling. You can easily search online for cardboard recycling center near me to get started !

How to Prepare your Cardboard for Local Recycling

Cardboard Recycling Process - Complete Guide

Rather than placing your recyclable cardboard items in a recycle bin or taking them to a recycling center, you can as well follow these steps:

* Remove all other elements that are not related to cardboard from the boxes.

* Flatten the boxes and for thick boxes, you will need to use scissors or a box cutter.

* Separate the large or squeezed boxes from the boxboard.

* Some types of cardboard have special wax or plastic lining such as those that are used to store liquids.

Most recycling centers accept materials with no charges attached, although it is always worth asking.

Proper recycling rules;

* Recyclable items left on the ground outside drop-off containers cannot be recycled and are considered illegal dumping.

* Harmful waste can be dropped off at one of the city’s drops locations.

Read Also: The Electronic Recycling (E-Waste) Process Complete Guide

Drop-off locations – Map and Centers

North

* Sahm Park, 6801 E. 91st St.

* Kroger (E. 71st and Binford), 5810 E. 71st St. Rear of the store, access via an east lot

* Kroger (Pendleton Pike and Sunnyside), 11101 Pendleton Pike

South

* Southwestway Park, 8400 S. Mann Rd.

* Beck Service Center, 6025 Madison Ave.

* Garfield Park, 2345 Pagoda Dr.

* Kroger (Franklin and Southport), 8130 E. Southport Rd.

* Kroger (Emerson and County Line), 8745 S. Emerson Ave.

East

* John Marshall Community High School, 10101 E. 38th St.

* Washington Square Mall, 10280 E. Washington St.

Downtown

* Old City Hall (N. Parking Lot), 202 N. Alabama St.

Read Also: How to Make Money from Plastic Recycling

Cardboard Recycling Bins

Cardboard also takes up a large amount of space, therefore, any organizations and businesses admit to throwing away their cardboard because they simply don’t have the recycling facilities to store such large quantities of cardboard.

However, Cardboard recycling is safe, easy, and a great way to replenish resources for your business and also generate a passive income.

This will assist in managing your organization with low-cost cardboard recycling bins, daily, monthly or weekly collections, and provide efficient ways to manage the cardboard recycling in your organization.

There are organizations that specialize in containers for recycling, which include can, glass, newspaper, and cardboard recycling bins.

When cardboard arrives at a recycling center, it is first sorted into boxboard (flat sheets) and corrugated board.

This mixture now goes through a series of filtering, chemical and centrifugal processes that eliminate tape, metals, plastics, and ink. The cleaned pulp will then be properly dried and pressed to form long sheets.

If you have a large amount of cardboard to recycle and a domestic customer, you can take it all to the local recycling center.

Talk to a specialized waste management company about your needs and they will advise you on a range of collection, storage, legal and disposal issues.

Meanwhile, before recycling your cardboard, you need to first ensure that they are all clean and dry.

Read Also: The Solution to Plastic Wastes Effect on Our Environment

FREE PAPER and CARDBOARD recycling near me

Cardboard Recycling Process - Complete Guide

1. CAMPBELLFIELD

13 Reo Crescent

Cnr Banksia Street and Waterdale Road

Open: Monday to Friday: 7:30am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday: 7:30am – 12pm Closed public holidays

2. RICHMOND

440 Burnley Street

Open: Monday to Friday: 7am – 3pm Accepts: Cardboard & Paper

3. NORTH GEELONG

266 Thompson Road

Open: Monday to Friday: 7am – 3pm

4. LAVERTON

46-48 Dohertys Road

Open: Monday to Friday: 24 hours per day Saturday: 7 am – 11am

Sunday: Closed

If cardboard castles aren’t your thing, try recycling the boxes instead.

There can be some misunderstanding about what types of cardboard that can be recycled. Fortunately, unlike some other items, recycling cardboard is very straightforward because everything cardboard can be recycled.

Recycling boxes also reduces processing pollution by 95% because the fiber has already been processed. There are two types of cardboard and both are recyclable. Which are;

Corrugated Cardboard; is a thick cardboard with an extra layer of wavy fiber in between sheets.

Paperboard or Chipboard; is a thick cardboard paper based material

Read Also: How to Properly Dispose your Electronic Wastes (E-Wastes)

Clean and Dry Cardboard Only

As long as your cardboard and paperboard are clean and dry, they should be placed in your own recycle bin.

Wet or greasy cardboard-like pizza boxes or fast food boxes are considered contaminated and belong to the garbage.

Wet or contaminated items can jam sorting equipment and spoil good and clean material.

 It’s a very good idea to flatten or straighten your boxes to make more room in your bin for other recyclable items.

Recycling cardboard is very simple when you stick to the basics of recycling,

In summary;

In today’s economy, businesses, organizations, and institutions recycle items like cardboard because it often saves them money on waste disposal costs.

Recycling is also good for the planet and local communities because it helps protect valuable resources, reduces pollution from the production of new materials, and creates job opportunities.

Do you have further questions or contributions? kindly use the comment box below for all your contributions.

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Read Also: 8 Steps to Successful Perennial Pasture Establishment

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Benadine Nonye

An Agric. Consultant & a Blogger- National Diploma in Agricultural Technology. - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science. - Master's Degree in Science Education. Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4ProfitsTV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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