A guide to cardboard recycling
The modern business is more environmentally aware than in previous decades. Most business managers now recognise the importance of recycling and are keen to fully engage in recycling practices. Recycling has become the norm and is great for any business’s environmental and ethical credentials. Recycling is good for business because it attracts customers, meets legislation, is good for the environment and can help an organisation to reduce waste. Cardboard recycling is just one element of good recycling practice, but for many businesses, it is an important one. We answer some of the key questions around cardboard recycling.
What exactly is cardboard?
Cardboard is, in effect, heavy duty paper. Its most common use is as packing material and it is older than you might imagine, being first used in China during the 15th Century. Cardboard is available in single layer sheets but is more commonly found in different corrugated forms with flat faces surrounding s-shaped flutes. Cardboard is a recycling success story and is now made with a high percentage of recycled fibres.
Why is cardboard easy to recycle?
Cardboard is a prime material for recycling because the fibres that it is made from have already been processed once from trees.
Why can’t I just burn my cardboard?
Burning waste is only considered a good alternative if it provides an efficient fuel. Cardboard does not do this and burning it will release contaminants and gases into the environment. Many local authorities have regulations surrounding smokeless fuels and cardboard burning would fall short of these. If cardboard waste is burned rather than recycled a reusable resource will be wasted.
How will recycling cardboard benefit my business?
Recycling is not always the easiest of solutions with staff training, commercial recycling costs, space implications and contamination all being issues. However, cardboard is amongst the easiest of materials to pack down, store and send for recycling. The benefits of all types of recycling are similar: environmental protection, legal obligation and business reputation being amongst these. However, cardboard recycling can reap additional financial rewards because clean, dry cardboard is in demand and can be sold.
How can I maximise the value of my waste cardboard?
Cardboard is a global market and prices suffer from large fluctuations. In 2016 cardboard recycling prices were between £65 and £105 a tonne. In order to sell your cardboard, you need to ensure that your load is free from contaminants like food, liquid, grease or styrofoam-type packaging. One of the most cost-effective ways to store cardboard for recycling is in bales, and this will also ensure a maximum financial return as the cardboard is already in the format required at the recycling plant. A mechanical baler will be required to store cardboard in this way.
Can I mix different grades of cardboard in a recycling load?
Different grades of cardboard can be recycled together providing the whole load is dry and not contaminated with food, grease or chemicals. Some wax coated cardboards are biodegradable but not recyclable.
Can I mix cardboard recycling with paper recycling?
In general, corrugated cardboard is recycled separately from paper but thinner cardboard can be mixed into paper loads.
Can I recycle pizza boxes?
Many pizza boxes have recycling symbols on them and are made of corrugated cardboard, so in theory, yes they can be recycled. However, be wary of including cardboard that has been tainted with grease or food in your load as this will be seen as a contaminant and render the load useless.
Can I recycle Tetra Pak cardboard?
Tetra Paks are plastic coated cartons that commonly contain milk or juices. Whilst they are made of 80% paper-based materials, they also contain plastic and sometimes hidden metal. They cannot be recycled with normal single sheet or corrugated cardboard loads but there are a growing number of Tetra Pak recycling centres opening up around the UK.
What should I do before I recycle my cardboard?
The first thing that should be done before recycling your cardboard is to make sure that it is all clean and dry. Any contaminated items should be removed and set to one side as these will not be recyclable. Next, remove any excessive tape from the cardboard – it is not necessary to remove all of this as the recycling process will deal with it. Cardboard should be flat packed as much as possible and stored in a container that will keep it dry. A baler such as a Mill Size baler can help with storage as can specific lidded containers and roll off bins.
What should I do if I have a large amount of cardboard to recycle?
If you have a large amount of cardboard to recycle and are a domestic customer you can take it all to the local recycling centre. This is not so easy for businesses with big volumes of cardboard. Talk to a specialised waste management company like Business Waste about your needs and they will advise you on a range of collection, storage, legal and disposal issues.
What happens to recycled cardboard?
When cardboard arrives at a recycling centre it is first sorted into box board (flat sheets) and corrugated board. Whilst paper can be recycled with cardboard, it is important to keep grades separate as these will go into different products after recycling. The next step is to shred the cardboard into tiny pieces and mix it with water and chemicals that will turn it into a slurry. This recycled pulp is then mixed with a small proportion of new pulp made from wood chips. This mixture now goes through a series of filtering, chemical and centrifugal processes which eliminate tape, metals, plastics and ink. The cleaned pulp is now dried and pressed to form long sheets. These sheets are glued together to make new cardboard.
Cardboard is a fascinating and incredibly useful material that serves us well for a whole variety of packaging and other uses. Cardboard’s recycling credentials are good and with high proportions of new products containing recycled fibres, it is set to become one of the recycling success stories of this century.
Cardboard Recycling Bins
Not only does cardboard make up a huge amount of the waste that businesses produce, but it also takes up a large amount of space.
Many organisations admit to throwing away their cardboard because they simply don’t have the recycling facilities to store such large quantities of cardboard. Cardboard recycling is safe, easy and a great way to replenish resources for your business. It is essential that your business does not fail to recycle this useful resource.
We can provide your organisation with low-cost cardboard recycling bins, daily, monthly or weekly collections, and efficient ways to manage the cardboard recycling in your organisation.
The Benefits of Recycling Cardboard
Recycling 1 tonne of cardboard can save up to 17 trees, reduce the demand for landfill and because cardboard recycling does not incur landfill tax, it can also save your business money.
We have a range of cardboard recycling bins available, to meet the waste requirements of your business. Our nationwide coverage means that we can provide and collect cardboard recycling bins across the whole of the UK, ensuring that each and every business has comprehensive recycling on their doorstep.
Paper and cardboard recycling
Producing 1 tonne of cardboard uses 17 trees, 79 gallons of oil, 7000 gallons of water and 42,000 kilowatts of energy. It is essential that your business recycles cardboard in order to prevent this unnecessary waste of valuable resources.
Cardboard Recycling and collections in Your Area
Our waste management services offer businesses low-cost and simple solutions to their cardboard recycling needs. We cover the whole of the UK, so no matter where you are based and whatever type of businesses you are, we have the waste management solutions for you.
We are fully committed to reducing the impact that excessive waste has on the environment. We offer collection, disposal and recycling services to organisations throughout the UK. No matter how small or large your cardboard recycling needs are, we have the expertise to provide you with a personally tailored waste management service.
For more information and advice on how we can meet your cardboard recycling needs, contact us today for further assistance. We can offer you a free quote for a variety of cardboard recycling bins, so call us today on 0800 211 83 90.