Where do I recycle cardboard? How does the process work?  Are there fees for recycling? As more and more people are becoming eco-friendly, they want to know how cardboard recycling actually works. While in most counties you can put cardboard on the curb, there are some that you can’t. This blog post will inform you about all there is to know about recycling cardboard and answer the most frequently asked questions. I will also share my experience with the place that does cardboard recycling near me.

Map of Cardboard Recycling Near Me

Below on the map are places that “Recycle Cardboard Near Me”…

What is Cardboard?

Cardboard is an incredibly popular material that is used to make boxes, signs, and other objects. It consists of paper fibers glued together by a process known as thermoforming. It can be colored with dyes and ink which adds chemicals to the paper.

Importance of Cardboard Recycling

Recycling cardboard is of paramount importance in today’s environmentally conscious world. From cereal boxes to corrugated cardboard boxes and even pizza boxes, these everyday items are a ubiquitous presence in our lives. However, it’s crucial that we understand the necessity of placing them in the recycling bin.

Corrugated boxes, like those pizza containers, are often discarded, but when recycled, they can be transformed into new materials, reducing the demand for fresh resources. In contrast, if mixed with plastic bags, which should not be included in the cardboard recycling program, contamination occurs, rendering the recycling process less effective. By emphasizing the proper disposal of cardboard, we can ensure that cardboard boxes are not wasted but instead repurposed, minimizing waste and helping protect our environment.

Importance of Cardboard Recycling

Where to Find Cardboard Recycling Near Me

If you don’t have curbside recycling pickup you may be wondering what to do with all your cardboard. There also could be instances that you have such an excessive amount that you can’t put it out on the curb. What do you do?

For these situations, you can bring it down to your local recycling center. For cardboard, there are no recycling fees and no limit to the amount you can drop off. If your local recycler isn’t at a reasonable distance you can try a Transfer Station, Solid Waste Facility. All of these municipalities have websites that will explain the restrictions and hours for dropping off your recyclable materials.

How To Recycle It?…Breakdown Your Boxes

If you have large boxes sometimes breaking them down flat is not enough. You may need to cut or fold them in order to recycle them. In some communities, there are cardboard collection bins and people stick whole boxes in them, which takes up room and prevents others from recycling. Don’t do that!

Also if it looks like it is going to rain you shouldn’t leave your cardboard outside to get wet. It complicates the process of recycling it.

Can I Leave Cardboard On the Curb for Garbage Pickup?

Each county has varying laws regarding recycling. Each housing community has different services they subscribe to. For example in my community we have a garbage pick up and a recycling pick up, which are two separate services. If you leave cardboard with the garbage they won’t take it. It will only be picked up if you put it with the recycling.

In a neighboring community in the same county, they have no recycling pickup. They are not allowed to commingle recycling and garbage, so therefore they must handle taking their cardboard and recyclables to our local facility.

To find out if you can leave your cardboard on the curb you need to check the website for your county. there should be a section for recycling and trash and if not look for public works and Environmental Services.

Cardboard Recycling Near Me

Do Landfills Accept Cardboard?

Some landfills will accept corrugated cardboard. However, it is essential that you check with your local landfill before tossing away or recycling your boxes – as some only take select items.

Ideally, it is better to get your cardboard to a recycling center and avoid the landfill. According to PlanetPaper.com “Heavily processed cardboard, such as juice or milk cartons, is coated with a wax or similar substance to prevent leakage. These will decompose, given about five years”. While corrugated cardboard breaks down much faster, this takes up undeeded space in a landfill when there are so many good reuses for cardboard.

How Cardboard Recycling Near Me Happens…

It is a community effort…

There are many opportunities for recycling cardboard! If you live near a big business, there may be an opportunity to partner with them and recycle the materials at their facility. You can also contact companies who use recycled cardboard themselves, such as shipping stores, food service businesses, etc. They often find new uses for this material alongside other types of paper products. 

Another way to get rid of old boxes is by donating them back to organizations like churches or schools. These organizations frequently need sturdy packaging in order to transport goods around town! Even if they don’t take the cardboard from you, many of these places will have information on how to recycle it properly.

Alternative Options to Reuse Cardboard Yourself

There are a number of alternative ways to reuse cardboard yourself if you don’t have a recycling facility nearby or just want to do something with the boxes on your own.

  • Compost – you can add it to your compost pile so long as it hasn’t come in any contact with chemicals like cleaning agents.
  • Use recycled cardboard to make your own moving boxes! Not only is it cheaper, but you can also customize the size and shape to fit your needs.
  • Turn old boxes into storage containers for toys, clothes, or any other item that needs to be organized and tucked away.
  • Create a homemade desk organizer by cutting up some of your old boxes and assembling them in an interesting way. This is perfect for small spaces since it doesn’t take up much room at all!
  • If you’re feeling crafty, use recycled cardboard to make decorations like Christmas trees or wreaths. You could even get really creative and build furniture out of it! The cardboard is sturdy enough to hold items without collapsing, so go ahead and have fun!
  • If you have kids, cut out some cardboard shapes and let them go wild painting on the pictures. They can use these as paperweights or hang up their artwork around your house so everyone can see how creative they are!

Since we are a junkyard blog and are heavy on the automotives there are other good uses for cardboard as well. I like to use cardboard to put down on the ground when I need to get under a car at the junkyard. Another good use to put it under the car if it leaks oil, is to protect your garage floor from getting stained.

How Does Cardboard Recycling Near Me Work?

The Collection Process

As the first step in recycling, collection points are where recyclers and businesses collect recyclables. This often starts with county curbside pickup but also includes special cardboard trash bins and stores that collect it. Some types of corrugated boards aren’t accepted at all depending on how they were used. For example, a Pizza box is difficult, because of the contamination from food touching it. The grease seeps into the corrugated material and now the paper can no longer be recycled.

The Sort, Shred, and Pulp Process

Once the cardboard arrives at a recycling facility, it is sorted depending on its material. Boxboards are those thin pieces used for drink boxes or cereal bags, while harder, thicker ones will be classified as “cardstock.” Shredding breaks down the cardboard paper fibers into minute pieces. Then it’s mixed with water and chemicals that turn it into a slurry substance “pulp“. The pulp can be bagged or run through other processes such as chemical dissolve drying (a more effective means of removing moisture).

Filter Unwanted Substances

Finally, the pulp is mixed with water and other materials to create new cardboard products. After the pulp is removed from its original state, it goes through a filtering process that rids all foreign materials as well as contaminants like plastic and metal staples. Next comes de-inking, where chemicals are used to remove any dyes or ink present in an effort for purity by eliminating these unwanted substances before they can ruin anything else along with them!

New Paper Products Formed…

As the pulp dries, it is passed through an automated machine that presses out excess water and facilitates the formation of long rolls from fibers called liner boards. Next, the liners are glued together layer by layer for a new piece of cardboard with each sheet being made in two different ways: either as paper-based material; or if using mediums such as wood chips instead. Then they get compressed into flat sheets which have been given teeth on both sides to make ridges when rolled up tightly as you would see at any construction site! Anything left over from the process gets downcycled.

How Does Cardboard Recycling Near Me Work

What are the Benefits of Cardboard Recycling?

There are many benefits to recycling cardboard. By using recycled cardboard for boxes, you are able to help reduce the number of items that end up in landfills! You can also save money by buying less new packaging – since it’s already been made and is readily available at a low price. Finally, recycling saves trees from being cut down during the production of paper products! The entire recycling process may seem daunting, but it’s really not all that difficult if appropriately understood.

What Are Products That Use Recycled Cardboard?

There are a number of products that use recycled cardboard.

Here are some examples:

  • Paper towels, toilet paper, and other paper products
  • Cups, plates, and other food service items
  • Boxes for shipping and storing goods
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Wallpaper and insulation material

Cardboard Recycling Near Me – Conclusion

In conclusion, recycling cardboard is a great way to reduce landfill waste, save money on packaging, and help the environment! The process of recycling is complicated, but the benefits are worth it. Especially since so much of it is reusable and that which remains can be downcycled. This is especially important to know how long cardboard takes to decompose in a landfill. By following these simple tips, you can help make a difference. This is what I have learned from theces that do cardboard recycling near me.

FAQs: Cardboard Recycling Near Me

What is cardboard recycling?

Cardboard recycling is the process of collecting, processing and reusing cardboard materials to create new cardboard products. Cardboard recycled helps reduce waste and conserve valuable resources.

Is it necessary to remove staples, tape, or labels from cardboard boxes before recycling?

A6: While it’s ideal to remove staples and tape, it’s not always required. Modern recycling facilities have equipment to handle these small contaminants. However, removing them can make the recycling process more efficient.

What types of cardboard can be recycled?

Most cardboard products, including corrugated cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, and cardboard packaging, can be recycled. However, wax-coated or heavily soiled cardboard may not be suitable for recycling.

How do I prepare cardboard for recycling?

Flatten and remove any non-cardboard materials like plastic, tape, or labels. Clean off food residue or contaminants. Ensure the cardboard is dry, as wet cardboard is harder to recycle.

Where can I recycle corrugated cardboard?

You can recycle corrugated cardboard at local recycling centers, curbside collection programs, and recycling drop-off locations. Check with your municipality for specific guidelines in your area.

Can cardboard boxes be recycled with mixed paper?

Cardboard box is typically recycled separately from mixed paper due to its different characteristics. It’s best to follow your local recycling guidelines, which may vary.

Can I make money to recycle cardboard boxes?

Some recycling centers and businesses may offer compensation for large quantities of cardboard, but the amount you receive will depend on market prices and local policies. Contact your local recycling center to inquire about any potential compensation.


James is an avid junkyarder and mechanic. He has visited Junkyards in every US state and has restored over 30 makes and models of vehicles. He has several automotive and recycling related blogs that generate over 150K views a month.