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Cardboard Collection – Cardboard Recycling Guide

Cardboard waste collection

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If you’re looking for a cardboard collection service near you then you’re in the right place.

We’re one of the UK’s largest national cardboard collectors and have been recycling cardboard waste for over 23,000 businesses across the UK in all cities, counties, and towns.

Get a free quote from our expert team today.

free bins for cardboard in UK

What is cardboard waste?

Cardboard waste refers to discarded cardboard boxes and packaging materials that are no longer needed or wanted.

Cardboard is a common type of packaging material that is widely used in the shipping and storage of various goods and products.

Once the contents of a cardboard box have been removed or the box is no longer useful, the cardboard becomes waste.

This type of waste is often recyclable, but if not properly collected and disposed of, it can contribute to litter and pollution.

recycling cardboard boxes ready for collection

How does cardboard collection work for businesses?

Cardboard collection for businesses typically involves the regular pickup of discarded cardboard boxes and packaging materials by a waste management company like us.

Here’s how it usually works:

(1) Scheduling: The business contacts the waste management company to schedule regular pickups.

The frequency of pickups can vary based on the amount of cardboard waste generated by the business and how frequently cardboard collections are needed.

(2) Collection: On the scheduled pickup day, the waste management company sends a truck to the business to collect the cardboard waste.

The cardboard is then loaded into the truck and taken to a recycling centre for processing.

(3) Sorting and baling: The recycling centre sorts the collected cardboard waste by grade and compacts it into large bales using a machine called a baler.

The bales are then sent to a paper mill to be recycled into new products.

(4) Invoicing: The waste management company will provide the business with an invoice for the services provided.

At WasteManaged we keep invoicing simple by providing a fixed monthly bill.


Who collects cardboard waste?

Waste management companies – Businesses that need their cardboard collected will need to arrange for collections from a commercial waste disposal company.

The council only collect residential cardboard waste so you can’t rely on them.

If you need your waste collected then you can get a free, no-obligation quote from us here.

Cardboard collection truck

Do you need a license to collect and recycle cardboard?

Yes, in most cases, a license is required to collect and recycle cardboard.

The exact regulations for collecting and recycling cardboard can vary depending on the location within the UK, but in general, it is considered a type of waste management activity that is regulated by the UK government.


How is cardboard recycled?

Cardboard is recycled through a process that involves the following steps:

(1) Collection: Cardboard waste is collected and sorted by grade, with each grade being processed differently.

(2) Breaking down: The collected cardboard is broken down into smaller pieces and then processed into a slurry-like substance by adding water and breaking down the fibres.

(3) Screening: The slurry is screened to remove any impurities, such as glue, plastic, or metal.

(4) De-inking: If the cardboard was printed or coated, it will undergo a de-inking process to remove the ink.

(5) Pulping: The screened and de-inked fibres are then mixed with water to form a pulp. The pulp is then cleaned and diluted to remove any remaining impurities.

(6) Drying: The cleaned pulp is then dried and formed into large sheets, which are then cut and shaped into new cardboard products, such as boxes and packaging materials.

(7) Finishing: The new cardboard products are then cut, printed, and treated as needed to meet the specifications of the end user.

cardboard recycling in a pile ready to be collected by bin men

Do I have to flatten my cardboard for collection?

In general, it’s best to flatten cardboard boxes to save space in waste collection trucks and at recycling facilities, making it easier and more efficient to transport and process the waste.

In some cases, flattened boxes may also be easier to sort and separate from other types of waste, improving the quality of the recycled material.

If your waste collector asks you to flatten the cardboard and you fail to on multiple occasions then this could result in additional costs.


What bin do I need for cardboard waste collection?

You’ll need a dry-mixed recycling bin. These come in either 240L, 660L, or 1100L and you can have multiple of them.

You don’t need a dedicated bin for your cardboard as it can be mixed with your other recyclable waste such as plastic, cans, and paper.

Just make sure your cardboard isn’t contaminated and that any tape is removed from the packaging.

Different dry-mixed recycling bin sizes

Which cardboard collectors are near me?

If you’re asking how you can get cardboard collection near me then you’re likely in need of a professional local waste management company that provides cardboard recycling.

Luckily we operate all across the UK with 99% coverage, even in the most remote areas.

We’ve also been collecting cardboard waste near you for the last 11 years and recycle cardboard for over 23,000 UK businesses.

Get a free, no-obligation quote online today to get started.


How much does cardboard collection cost?

Your cardboard waste is part of a dry-mixed recycling service. So for a fortnightly cardboard collection you can expect to pay £26.74 (excl VAT) per month.

This is for a large 1100L bin (the most common bin type) and is for all your recycling waste including plastics, paper, and cans.


Can all cardboard be recycled?

Most types of cardboard can be recycled, but not all types are equally suitable for recycling.

Some types of cardboard may be contaminated with food waste, oil, or other materials that can make the recycling process more difficult or compromise the quality of the recycled material.

Common types of cardboard that are typically suitable for recycling include:

  • Corrugated cardboard: This is the most commonly recycled type of cardboard and is used to make shipping boxes, moving boxes, and other types of packaging materials.
  • Boxboard: This type of cardboard is used to make cereal boxes, tissue boxes, and other types of packaging.
  • Paperboard: This type of cardboard is used to make paper cups, frozen food boxes, and other types of packaging.

In general, if a cardboard item is wet, dirty, has food waste on it, or is contaminated with oil, it may not be recyclable.

Used pizza boxes, for example, can’t be recycled due to the grease stains.

Cardboard pizza box that can't be recycled

Cardboard recycling facts & statistics

Here are some facts and statistics about cardboard recycling:

  • Cardboard is the most recycled paper product in the world. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 90% of all cardboard is recyclable.
  • Recycling cardboard saves energy and resources. It takes 75% less energy to recycle cardboard than it does to make new cardboard from raw materials.
  • The UK generates a significant amount of cardboard waste. According to the UK government’s waste and recycling statistics, over 1.2 million tonnes of cardboard were generated in the country in 2019.
  • Cardboard is one of the most commonly recycled materials in the UK. The UK’s recycling rate for cardboard has been consistently high, with over 70% of all cardboard being recycled in recent years.
  • Cardboard recycling helps to conserve resources and reduce waste. Recycling cardboard in the UK saves an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, as well as conserving resources such as trees and water.
  • Cardboard recycling helps to conserve forests. By recycling cardboard, we can reduce the demand for virgin fibres, which are often sourced from trees.
  • Recycling cardboard helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The production of new cardboard from raw materials generates significant greenhouse gas emissions, while recycling cardboard reduces these emissions by reducing the need for new materials.
  • Cardboard recycling creates jobs. The recycling of cardboard and other paper products is a significant sector of the economy and employs thousands of people in the UK.


Cardboard processing sites in the United Kingdom

Derwent Waste Management – Cardboard Recycling
Open 8.00 – 16.00
Pye Bridge Industrial Estate, Main Road Derby, Pye Bridge, Alfreton, United Kingdom. DE55 4NX

Warren Heath Cardboard Recycling
Felixstowe Rd, Ipswich, England. IP3 8TQ

Sonoco Recycling England
Halifax HX4 9PY

Cardboard 4 Cash Ltd
9.00 – 17.00
51- 81 Liverpool Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B9 4DS


How to get started with commercial cardboard collections

(1) Get a free quote from us today, let us know what kind of waste you need collecting, how much and how often you’ll need collections.

(2) We’ll provide you with a monthly price for your service, if you’re happy with the terms then you sign your waste collection contract

(3) We’ll then deliver your bins to your business site for free!

(4) Then, our team will come round on your agreed collection days and pick up your waste and take it to a recycling or safe disposal facility site nearby for you.

To get your free bins delivered for your service go here.

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