5 Cardboard Recycling Facts in 2020

December 12, 2019 Generated
cardboard recycling facts

Unsurprisingly, there are many different uses for cardboard. In fact, over 90% of products in the United States are shipped in corrugated cardboard boxes.

Along with packages, cardboard is used and reused for a wide variety of things. For example, many people use old cardboard boxes for anything from storage boxes to makeshift recycling bins.

On average, a typical household will throw away up to 13,000 pieces of cardboard in a single year. Even more, the average American will use the equivalent of seven trees each year in paper and cardboard products. 

As a result, cardboard recycling has emerged as a popular sustainability initiative to dispose of cardboard waste. Some interesting facts have emerged about cardboard use, cardboard recycling programs, and the impact that they have on the environment.

Learn more about cardboard recycling and how you can make a difference with these fascinating cardboard recycling facts.

5 Cardboard Recycling Facts

1. 90% of products are shipped in cardboard

Cardboard boxes have a variety of uses and are hidden in everyday activities. For example, the sleeve on your morning coffee and the box of your favorite cereal are made of cardboard.

More specifically, these products are made of corrugated cardboard boxes.

More than 90% of products in the United States are shipped in corrugated cardboard boxes.

In addition to single-use cardboard, cardboard is often reused in various settings. For example, many people reuse cardboard boxes for makeshift bins, storage containers, and more. Along with packaging, old cardboard is used and reused for a wide variety of things.

2. Not all cardboard is recyclable

While you may think all cardboard is recyclable, this isn’t always the case. There are certain limits to what can go in a public recycling bin. 

Used pizza boxes and paper coffee cups are just some items that may not be recyclable even though they’re made from cardboard. To elaborate, pizza debris found on pizza boxes—oil and cheese—disrupt the recycling process and contaminate the recycled product.

Recycling education is incredibly important before you begin recycling. In the end, recycling contaminated materials may pollute other materials and cause the entire bin of recyclables to be sent to the landfill.

3. Several Grades of Recyclable Cardboard

There are numerous grades of recyclable cardboard, especially for manufacturing and industrial organizations. So, if you’re looking for commercial cardboard recycling solutions, knowing cardboard grades is important.

Some examples of cardboard grades include corrugated cardboard, such as the boxes many products are shipped in. There are other grades as well, like solid and rigid cardboard from various manufacturing operations. 

4. Different Equipment Required for Recycling Different Grades

When recycling cardboard in large quantities, there are different types of equipment that may be used to process your waste. Some equipment may be for cardboard collection while other equipment is for processing the cardboard itself. 

Some examples of cardboard collection equipment include compactors, vertical balers, and horizontal balers. A baler will compress and flatten your cardboard waste so that it takes up less storage space and is more efficient to ship.

If you’re partnering with a commercial waste collection company, your cardboard may be collected by that company’s roll-off trucks or tractor-trailers. Then, the cardboard is taken to a recycling facility, where it is processed and prepared for shipment to paper mills for use as a raw material.

5. Going Green Isn’t Hard With Cardboard Recycling!

While cardboard recycling may seem like a challenge for your company, it doesn’t have to be! 

To make the most of your cardboard waste, you can partner with a commercial waste disposal company, like Generated Material Recovery. Companies like GMR have in-depth experience with providing manufacturing and unique industrial solutions to achieve their sustainability goals.

All in all, with the expertise of companies like GMR, you can rest assured that your cardboard waste disposal needs will be met.


Wondering how Generated Materials Recovery can help you with your cardboard recycling needs? Contact their team today to learn more about sustainable waste disposal!

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