Cardboard Recycling For Businesses

Why it’s worth its weight in savings.
For most businesses, dealing with cardboard waste is an unavoidable part of doing business and if you aren’t recycling it, you may be throwing away money. Instead of paying to haul cardboard off to the landfill, you could be generating a revenue source for your business. The larger the quantities you produce, the greater the opportunities. Like any commodity, the cardboard recycling market fluctuates, and even though there have been declines in the commodity index over the past couple of years, the market has bounced back from its lows and capturing value from the product is still a viable opportunity for most businesses.

Having a well-managed cardboard recycling program saves a company valuable resources, reduces waste costs and keeps you compliant with recycling legislation by meeting mandatory source separation and recycling requirements. These are all good reasons to take a closer look at your program.

In order to find the most effective way to manage and recycle your carboard, you will first need to know the total tonnage that you generate each month. The best way to do this is to carry out a waste and recycling audit.

Below you’ll find some interesting facts and helpful tips on how to achieve the greatest financial and environmental savings with your cardboard recycling program.

Cardboard Facts:

  • Most of the cardboard we use today is 100% recycled.
  • It’s used to ship over 90% of all U.S. products.
  • The average supermarket chain generates about 30 tons of cardboard a month.
  • The EPA reported that in 2018 the U.S. recycled 96.5% of all cardboard boxes.

Despite cardboard’s inherent recyclability, it still must first find its way to the recycling plant. Before it can be recycled, cardboard must be broken down and stored in a dry place, free of contamination from moisture, grease and oils.

There are several different options available to businesses to store cardboard, depending on the volumes of cardboard waste generated.

Types of Cardboard Receptacles & Compactors:

  • Backroom Balers – Suitable for small businesses and can fit conveniently in a 5 × 10-meter space.
  • Vertical Stockroom Balers – Appropriate for retailers or commercial businesses that generate a modest amount of cardboard waste, but have space constraints.
  • Horizontal Balers – For larger applications such as warehouses and manufacturers.
  • Break-away Compactors – For businesses with a larger cardboard footprint, such as large supermarkets and wholesale clubs.
  • Front Load Slotted Containers – For retailers, restaurants and other small business fronts.

Rising disposal costs and the increased presence of recycling regulations require a change in the way businesses manage their waste streams. It’s critical to re-evaluate and adopt progressive action plans as part of a continual improvement process.

Creating a Recycling Culture at Your Business

A well-managed recycling program helps you reach your sustainability goals in two ways:

  1. Reduce the volume of waste that you create
  2. Increase the amount of waste you divert from landfill and increase the amount you recycle

A successful scheme requires that you:

  • Provide employees with training on recycling procedures
  • Designate a specific area for sorting, analyzing and storing waste
  • Clearly sign all containers, bins and sorting areas
  • Continually identify recycling opportunities based on waste generation volumes and market variables

National Waste Associates has the expertise to help your business develop a recycling program that will save you time, money and hassle. We coordinate different diversion opportunities according to the quantities of material generated. For example, large volumes of cardboard are sent direct-to-mill to increase the revenue potential.

Whether it’s 50 locations or 2,000, we optimize every location for the right type of receptacle and frequency of pick-ups. We provide our clients with cost saving and pollution reduction reports so that they can be confident that their waste and recycling is being processed efficiently, responsibly, and effectively.

For more information about our recycling solutions call 1-888-692-5005 or email

©2021 National Waste Associates