cardboard recycling thumbnail

Cardboard Recycling: 10 Things You Need To Know

cardboard recycling near me

Cardboard Recycling North East, UK

Cardboard recycling is so important to protect our environment. However, it could be the case that you think your business is environmentally friendly through correct cardboard disposal,
when in fact, you might be sending the recyclable materials to landfill or incineration.

For example, any cardboard which is tossed into a dry mixed recycling (DMR) bin could go straight to incineration. This is because the cardboard has been contaminated by the waste it mixes within
the bin.

While incineration is better than sending paper and cardboard to landfill (more on waste streams below), we miss the opportunity to recycle the cardboard in an efficient way which benefits both
the business and the environment.

Cardboard is used in a variety of ways across our society, but especially within the logistical, supply chain and warehousing industry, paper and cardboard is used to package goods and deliver
safely to customers. Therefore, it’s likely your business receives and processes a high quantity of commercial cardboard into its premises each day using balers and compactors.

Recycling cardboard provides many benefits, both to your business and the environment, so our local recycling team here at the Inspire Waste Management have collated the 10 things you need
to know about cardboard recycling waste management solution.

Looking for Cardboard Recycling near you? Call us, and get a quote tailored to your needs.


✆ 0800 002 9282


1. Is Cardboard Recyclable?

Yes, cardboard is recyclable. Whether it is being used in the home or at work, the packaging has been designed, so we can keep recycling at every opportunity. Indeed, cardboard packaging will
often be recycled up to five times.

There are two types of cardboard which are recyclable:

  • Paperboard is a thin material predominately used for our domestic use, such as cereal boxes, juice cartons, shoe boxes and so on.
  • Corrugated cardboard is a stronger and thicker material used for heavier items like Amazon deliveries, furniture packaging etc.


2. What are the benefits of cardboard recycling?

There are many benefits, both economical and environmental, to cardboard recycling.

  • Every ton of recycled cardboard saves 9 cubic yards of landfill space (landfills create air and water pollution within the local environment).
  • Reduce greenhouse gasses which otherwise would be caused by the cardboard going to landfill spaces.
  • 1 tonne of recycled cardboard can save up to 17 trees from being cut down (See our article about ‘How to save money by recycling‘).
  • Recycling and waste management is a labour intense process, so we help to create jobs by recycling cardboard.
  • Paper and cardboard recycling reduces carbon emissions used to import paper and cardboard from overseas.
  • Cardboard recycling can become a revenue generator for your business.


Cardboard recycling - baler

Cardboard Recycling Baler Collection


3. How does cardboard recycling benefit my business?

Each year the UK generates approximately 200 million metric tonnes of waste (see GOV UK statistics on Waste). However, since household and commercial cardboard waste recycling has become more common, there is an expectation
from consumers and employees that businesses recycle their waste too. It is considered a business’s ethical duty to reduce waste to landfill and utilise recycling and waste
management especially these days when net zero waste plan has been championed by the government.

Luckily for business owners, cardboard is one of the easiest materials to send for recycling.

Cardboard disposal through waste recycling benefits include:

  • Positive brand image for both customers and employees.
  • Reduce waste collection costs.
  • If business recycles there is a potential for rebate fees.

Cardboard Recycling for business. Call us, and we can get you making money from your cardboard waste.


✆ 0800 002 9282


4. How do I send my cardboard waste for recycling?

It is important to educate your employees where their cardboard waste should be placed. Colour coded refuse wheelie bins will provide clear signage for employees to separate their waste
correctly. Informing employees why you are recycling, and indeed the types that cardboard can be recycled is important too.

Some key tips to identify the best way to recycle cardboard waste include:

  • Designate responsibility to a staff member to coordinate cardboard and paper recycling.
  • Place information signage throughout the premises.
  • Create a waste collection schedule and identify locations to store cardboard for recycling.
  • It might be more effective to place the cardboard for recycling in a mechanical bale. Contact our team to discuss your individual requirements.


5. Can I recycle cardboard food boxes and drink cartons?

All cardboard is recyclable, but when it comes to our food and drink packaging, the rules may be different. This is because some of the cardboard packaging could be coated with a substance which
will prevent them from being added to your cardboard recycling collection points.

To recycle your cardboard correctly, check the packaging for the recycling symbol. If the cardboard is recyclable, make sure to remove any food or drink from the packaging.

If your employees frequently eat their lunch on your business premises, then we recommend you create separate recycling bins for cardboard and other waste disposal. It is also worth delegating
the task to an office manager or administrator to educate their colleagues on what cardboard is recyclable and why.

6. Can I recycle pizza boxes?

Whether it is a family evening in or the team are pulling a late night, pizza is a sure-fire winner to satisfy those hungry bellies. You can add pizza boxes to your cardboard recycling
collection, provided you:

  • Exclude any packaging smeared in grease.
  • Remove any food items from the packaging.
  • Keep the cardboard boxes safe and dry before waste collection day.


7. Can you recycle shiny cardboard?

Most of the cardboard in use is suitable for recycling. However, any cardboard which is covered in glitter (Birthday or Christmas cards, for example), velvet or foil cannot be recycled by a
recycling company. Shiny cardboard can be recycled, but please check the packaging for the recycling symbol first to make sure (recycling symbols explained).

Cardboard Recycling + supply of balers, packers or bins.Call us, and get a reliable service that always arrives on time.


✆ 0800 002 9282


8. Does tape need to be removed from cardboard for recycling?

It is generally acceptable to leave tape used for sealing purposes on the cardboard, along with postal labels and stickers, as they are removed during the recycling process. However, please
remember to remove any items, such as polypropylene ties, bubble wrap or any foreign items included within the packaging.


9. Can cardboard be recycled if it gets wet?

Wet cardboard generally isn’t accepted for recycling because the moisture weakens the cardboard fibres and increases the weight of the cardboard. This reduces the value for paper and cardboard
recycling centres. Our recommendation is to flatten your cardboard boxes and store them somewhere dry before collection day.


10. Cardboard recycling services near me?

Inspire Waste Management provide cardboard recycling services and other total waste management services across the Newcastle and wider North East England region. Our cardboard recycling
prices vary depending on multiple factors, so please give our friendly team a call on tel: 0800 002 9282 or email for more details.

Should you rent, lease, or purchase a cardboard baler for your business?

If your business produces a lot of cardboard waste, it’s time to consider getting a cardboard baler.

It could save your business money, earn you the best price for your bulk waste, and help you prove your recycling credentials to your customers.

So, should you buy, rent, or lease a cardboard baler?

Here’s our handy guide to help you make an informed decision.

Why should we all recycle cardboard?

The simple answer is that it saves trees and reduces the amount of waste going to landfill.

Of course, if we’re cutting down trees, they aren’t helping us take excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Plus, we’re rapidly running out of landfill space and the costs are only going to spiral.

Making cardboard from scratch requires wood pulp from felled trees and involves a process using several chemicals. In fact, a tonne of cardboard made this way uses almost three tonnes of wood.

Making it from recycled cardboard means that trees don’t have to be felled, it cuts many of the chemicals out of the process and reduces the energy used.

Did you also know that for every tonne of cardboard recycled, more than six cubic metres of landfill space is saved?

In the UK, 84% of all the corrugated cardboard we use is recycled, which means two million tonnes a year is saved from landfill.

We could do better when it comes to other forms of cardboard and paper, though, as around seven million tonnes a year is still going to landfill.

How is cardboard recycled?

The waste cardboard is chopped up into small pieces and mixed with water to form a slurry.

Any foreign items such as metals or plastic are removed at this stage, and then the cardboard paste is pressed until it achieves the correct consistency and dried. More water is added as the paste, called the noodle, is processed.

It’s then pressed into the thickness required, dried again, and used to create new cardboard for boxes or packaging or chipboard.

Why should businesses recycle cardboard?

Sending waste to landfill is an expensive business.

Including landfill tax and depending on which part of the UK businesses operate in, the average charge is around £130 per ton, and £85 of that figure would be landfill tax.

So, it makes business sense to ensure the smallest amount possible is sent to landfill and everything you can recycle is recycled. Otherwise, it can all add up to a substantial bill.

There are also the costs of waste and recycling collections. If you throw uncompacted cardboard boxes into your skip, you’ll fill that volume up much more quickly than if you used a baler for compaction. You’ll need more collections per month, quarter, or year.

So, a decision not to bale it could be costing you dearly.

On the flip side of the coin, sending cardboard for recycling could earn your business revenue to offset the costs of dealing with it.

The recycling of cardboard can be from free to a rebate of £50 when trading conditions are good, something which could be a welcome boost to your bottom line.

Having sustainable recycling policies is also great PR for a business.

Many consumers now also look at eco-friendly credentials before they decide to buy. 

What are the benefits of using a baler?

When it comes to disposing of your cardboard waste, transportation is a huge part of the cost.

The more volume you transport, the more it costs.

So, one easy way to reduce costs is to reduce the volume of the weight you send for recycling.

A baler uses tonnes of force to compact that cardboard waste, reducing the volume by up to 90%, so more of it fits into a lorry’s container for transportation.

It also turns a business liability into something which is an immediately sellable material.

When baled waste reaches its destination, recycling companies will be looking for baled waste which reduces their cost of processing it. Unbaled waste would have to be baled by their own staff.

That means your business would earn less for it.

A baler could also help your site become tidier and safer, removing piles of empty boxes which could become a fire or trip hazard and freeing up precious floor space.

Should you rent a baler?

This is a cost-effective and flexible method of getting a baler for your business.

Renting monthly allows you to have all the benefits without a major capital outlay, keeping the funds in your business for other things such as hiring staff or buying in raw materials. It also allows you to scale up easily by taking on a larger baler if more waste is being produced.

Rental agreements can also come with servicing and 24-hour breakdown repair, ensuring your business can run smoothly even if something does go wrong. Regular servicing also helps reduce the number of consumables you need.

What are the costs? – Between £15 and £50 a week.

Should you lease a baler?

Lease agreements tend to be longer-term than rental agreements, often 12 to 60 months.

So, business owners who know they’ll need a baler for a lengthy period may find a better deal by leasing and fixing their costs.

There are two types of lease, lease to buy and lease rental, which is a hire agreement where you don’t own the equipment at the end of the lease.

These agreements can also have tax benefits as lease rental is 100% tax deductible. All the payments you make for the baler can be written off against your company’s tax bill. 

What are the costs? – Leases tend to be the rental cost plus 8% flat rate interest, which can add up to 40% compound interest over a five-year lease. Typically, that could add up to £3,500 for a small baler over five years and £7,500 for a medium baler over the same period.

Should you buy a baler?

Buying a baler involves an immediate capital outlay, sometimes running into thousands of pounds.

A service or maintenance contract would also have to be negotiated separately, but most new balers come with a six or 12-month warranty. 

What are the costs? – New small balers cost around £3,500. Large, new balers can cost around £12,000. A good second hand small baler would still cost between £2,000 and £3,500.

How do you choose the right cardboard baler for your site?

Getting the correct baler is a matter of matching the equipment to the size of your business and the output of cardboard waste you produce. Here’s your at-a-glance checklist of the questions you need to ask:

  1. How much cardboard does your business produces every month?
  2. How much space does your business have?
  3. What’s the size and type of baler most suitable for your business?
  4. Do you need a portable or static baler?
  5. How much will you need to budget for consumables and accessories?

Vertical v horizontal balers – Vertical balers are fed at the top and compress items from top to bottom, so they tend to be smaller in size and are more suited to businesses with small to medium amounts of cardboard waste. A vertical baler would suit most UK businesses. Horizontal balers are perfect for industrial amounts of card as they can be fed can be fed from a conveyor, chute, forklift truck, or bin tipper. They automate a good deal of the process to save on staff time, too.

Small v large balers – You’ll need to weigh up the amount of your cardboard waste against the size of your site. Smaller premises such as shops or offices will need a smaller baler making 30kg bales. Larger businesses will need a twin-chamber baler which produced 100kg bales. Industrial premises will need a mill-sized baler making bales of up to 450kg. Check out the specifications on each baler to see which would suit your needs and take into account how much space you’ll need to store cardboard before processing.

Static v portable balers – Will you need to move your baler around your site? If so, a portable baler would be the best option for your business, especially if you’re dealing with small to medium amounts of cardboard waste and have limited space. Larger balers tend to be static, so you’ll need a permanent site with enough space for loading card.

Getting expert advice – Talking to waste management consultants with decades of experience in the field, like ours at Inspire Waste Management, will help you work out all the issues you need to consider when choosing a baler. They can carry out a site survey and help you calculate the accurate volume of waste you produce.

Budgeting for accessories – You’ll need to ensure you have enough in the budget for accessories such as baler oil, strapping, wire, and bags. 

Baling twine costs around £100 for four reels, while a compact baler trolley will cost around £140 and a bundle of baling wire costs around £40.

Are you looking for a company with expert waste management consultants, like Inspire Waste Management, who can help you get the right cardboard baler for your business? Call our friendly Inspire Waste team on 0800 002 9282.


How to recycle Printer’s Waste the right way

Most print jobs produce waste, so understanding how to recycle printer’s waste is a key part of the job.

In early copies, the colour registration or mixture may be incorrect, or there can be spoiled copies when the printer jams. All of this will need recycling, as will offcuts of paper and card.

Choosing the right way to recycle printer’s waste will have an important impact on the costs your business faces.

Want to recycle your printer’s waste in the most cost-effective way? Here’s what you’ll need to do…

  1. Shred your confidential waste

Many items printed are covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which has strict rules about how confidential information should be handled.

Staff directories could contain names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers, or staff passes could contain barcodes that have personal information and could give people access to secure sites, for example.

Printers also deal with potentially sensitive or valuable items such as election material, vouchers, and stamps.

Shredding your own printer’s may not be cost-effective for your business.

You’ll have to weigh up the cost of your staff time it takes against the amount of work they could be delivering for your customers. Outsourcing it may be a better option for you.

  1. Ensure your waste paper and card is stored correctly

Confidential and sensitive waste should be stored securely until it is shredded. This could be in a room where only trusted staff have access, or in lockable consoles.

Once it is shredded, it can be stored with your other paper and card waste. Ensure paper and card waste are kept separately from other recyclables such as plastic and glass because each is recycled in a different fashion. So, if you mix it up and it needs to be sorted at a recycling site, it could cost you more in the long run to recycle it.

Getting the right size of wheelie bins for your business is also vital.

You need to keep your site clean and safe, without paper and card waste cluttering it up and causing a potential health and safety hazard. You also need to ensure your costs are kept to a minimum.

  1. Choose the right waste recycling company

Your waste transfer company should have the correct licenses and be experienced in dealing with large volumes of paper and card waste, as we are here at Inspire Waste Management.

Ensure your company has a no-landfill policy.  Shredded waste paper can be recycled to produce many items such as toilet roll, newspaper, and notepads. So, sending it to landfill not only takes up scarce landfill space and affects the environment, it is a costly business because of landfill site gate charges and landfill tax.

Recycling this waste helps keep your costs to a minimum.

Look at the company’s accreditations dealing with the quality of service and the environment and look for past client testimonials. A company that oversees all the steps of the process, as we do, will help make recycling your printer’s waste easy.

  1. Get the best deal for your bulk waste

If you produce a large amount of card and paper waste, as many printers do, you could be earning some money back for your printing business.

Our expert waste consultants help clients get better than market values for their bulk waste.

We also offer balers and accessories to help businesses reduce the cost of transporting this waste by compacting it and reducing its volume.

Do you need advice on recycling printer’s waste? Call our friendly Inspire Waste team on 0800 002 9282.