What You Need to Know About Cardboard Recycling

What is Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard recycling is the practical system of  reprocessing and reusing of thick sheets or stiff. Cardboard, which is basically classified as a corrugated cardboard, is a recyclable material that is recycled by small and large scale businesses or recycling companies  in order to drastically reduce some financial expenses on the  disposal of waste. Cardboard recycling  and reuse of thick sheets or stiff multilayered papers have been used practically in the entire recycling process to achieve projected results, it can subsequently be discarded or regarded as waste.

Cardboard boxes are normally heavy-duty or thick-sheets of paper known for their extensible durability and toughness. Notable examples of cardboard include packaging boxes, egg cartoons, shoe boxes, and cereal boxes.


Why is the recycling of cardboard still important?

Recycling has become a routine for most of us. Many of us do it without thinking twice; automatically arranging papers, plastics and metals that will be taken to the garbage. If you do not already have it in your trash can, you should add cardboard to your list of recyclable items both at home and at work.

Also check out our list of Top Aluminium Recycling Companies in Nigeria

It is one of the most used recyclable materials in the world. It is also one of the few that is non-toxic, 100% biodegradable and can often be reused in its current state. But if the material eventually wears out, remember to recycle it. Cardboard recycling is important precisely because it is used a lot.

A heavy and widely used material

More than 90 percent of all products shipped in the United States are shipped in corrugated cardboard, i.e. more than 29.5 million tons in the United States alone. Most comes from large companies.

Luckily, it is also extremely recyclable. As a result, commercial recycling exceeds 90%. Being non-toxic and uncoated, it is one of the easiest products to reduce, reusable and recyclable and is often the first to be added to a company’s waste reduction program.

Cardboard recycling saves virgin materials

It is a known fact that the reuse and repurposing of products and materials prevents us from obtaining new resources and transforming these resources into usable products. Recycle a ton of material instead of creating it from scratch:

  • Saves 390 kWh of energy.
  • Save 1.1 barrels (46 gallons) of oil.

It requires only 75 percent of the total energy needed to produce raw materials.

As you can see, this not only relieves the natural resources (wood) used in the manufacture of the material itself, but also reduces the consumption of natural resources in other areas such as oil and energy, which produces less sulfur emissions than the production of material from raw materials.

Working towards a zero landfill

Although this product is made of paper, it takes up a lot of space and weighs a lot. Imagine if all these materials were taken to the dumpster instead. If we recycle only one ton of material, we can save more than 9 cubic meters of landfill space. For this reason, it is one of the key components to achieve a zero waste landfill.

Landfills without waste rely heavily on recycling and reuse to divert material from landfills and find new uses for unwanted products. It is not intended to achieve the highest goal of zero waste, but it is easier to prevent the garbage generated from reaching the landfill. In this way, a zero landfill is a more concrete and achievable objective than a zero waste.

A lot of need for used cardboard.

Because this product is so robust, clean and of high quality, it can be recycled and reused in many different applications. It can be used to create new boards, paper and many other paper products.

Step-by-Step Process of Cardboard Recycling


In the recycling of cardboard, collection is the first step . Recyclers and  companies collect the waste cardboard at designated cardboard collection points.Most of these collection points can be trash bins, stores, scrap yards, and some commercial outlets that basically generate cardboard waste. After the process of collection, this materials are measured and hauled to recycling facilities, mostly paper mills.

2. Sorting

In the process of Cardboard recycling, Once the corrugated boxes arrive at the recycling facility, they are sorted according to the materials they are made of. Most often, they are grouped or arranged into corrugated cardboard and boxboard.

3. Shredding and Pulping

Once the Sorting process is settled, the next step is shredding and after that pulping follows. The Shredding is carried out in order to break down the cardboard paper fibers into smaller sizes. At the end, the material is finely shredded into pieces, it is subsequently mixed with water and combative chemicals to chemically breakdown the paper fibers that reproduces a slurry substance.

This process is termed as pulping. The pulped material is then blended with new pulp, generally from wood chips that ultimately help the resulting substance to solidify and become firmer.

4. Filtering, conterminal removal and De-Inking

In order to achieve successful cardboard recycling, the  pulpy material is then taken through a routine filtering process to remove all the foreign substances present as well as certain impurities such as strings, tape or glue. Additionally, the pulp further goes into a chamber where contaminants like plastics and metals staples are removed through a centrifuge-like process. Plastics  tends to float on top while the heavy metal staples fall to the bottom after which they are eliminated.

5. Finishing for reuse

At this stage of the recycling  process, the isolated pulp is blended with new production materials after which, it is put to dry on a flat conveyor belt and heated cylindrical surfaces. Gradually, as the pulp dries, it is passed through an automated machine which dehydrates the excess moisture and enhances the formation of a long rolls of solid sheet from the fibers called liner-boards and mediums. The liner-boards are chemically glued together, layer by layer to form a new piece of cardboard.



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