Make Money For Cardboard Recycling Guide

cardboard recycling

Make money for cardboard recycling is one lucrative and eco-friendly venture for individuals looking for extra cash or businesses looking to cut waste disposal costs. So, if you’re throwing away your cardboard boxes or any other waste, you could be missing out on a valuable revenue-generating opportunity.

Ideally, most of the cardboard boxes in your place can be reused before they reach their maximum lifespan. Besides, these boxes are made with one of the most recyclable materials on the planet, and the companies offering cash for recycling cardboard are endless. 

The cardboard’s fibrous nature makes it a big draw for recycling facilities that can transform it into various products instead of ending up in landfills and taking years to decompose.

Your cardboard boxes can be reused for packaging or recycled to make new cardboard boxes, paper towels, etc. This process not only earns you extra bucks but also conserves resources and reduces the energy required to make new products.

How to Recycle Cardboard for Cash

The easiest way to earn money for recycling cardboard is to gather as many boxes as possible, sort them, and transact with the many available scrap yards, curbside recycling programs, or recycling facilities. Here’s how:

1 – Collecting Cardboard for Recycling

money for cardboard

The first step is to collect as much cardboard trash as possible from your household, workplace, or local community, ensuring it’s fit for reuse or recycling.

Some of the basic checkmarks include having no serious contamination like grease or food residue and should be clean and dry.

Alternatively, you can outsource the cardboard boxes from businesses willing to give them away for free. Other options include cardboard recycling bins near you and online classifieds for leads.

Common places with disposable cardboards may include grocery stores, liquor stores, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc.

2 – Sorting Cardboard Boxes for Recycling

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Not all cardboard boxes are recyclable, and you don’t want to waste your energy and time only for your efforts to end up in vain.

Recyclable cardboard, also known as corrugated cardboard, should be of an environmentally friendly material that is easy to repurpose and reuse.

While some cardboard types may seem recyclable, they may be rejected by your preferred recycling facilities mainly due to their condition or material.

However, the recycling program may vary, and the type of cardboard accepted and their prices depend on your region and other factors.

Therefore, checking your facility’s recycling options for accurate guidance is always advisable. This way, it will be easy to know what type of cardboard to put in your blue recycle garbage can, commonly used for trash that can help save the ecosystem.

Below is a list of common types of recyclable cardboard:

  • Paper Towel Rolls and toilet paper
  • Cereal boxes without the plastic liner.
  • Corrugated fiberboard.
  • Chipboard.
  • Milk and juice cartons.
  • Paperboard.
  • Egg cartons.
  • Pizza boxes free from food debris, grease, and oil.
  • Brown paper bags.
  • Shipping envelopes

Below is a list of common types of non-recyclable cardboard:

  • Waxed cardboard.
  • Soiled cardboard.
  • Overly thick cardboard.
  • Non-cardboard items.

Select painted cardboard.

Finding Recycling Centers

recycling centers

Choosing the best company that offers cash for cardboard recycling is paramount, as you will know the payment rate and the type of cardboard to sort. Start by researching recycling centers near you, including scrap yards that offer cash when you deliver the right cardboard items. 

It’s also crucial to compare processes from different centers and companies to ensure you get the best value for your efforts.

The amount of money you can make recycling cardboard will depend on the rates offered by the recycling center, the amount of your load, and other costs you incur.

The average of the few sites we have reviewed may offer from 50 cents to $1.5 per pound for the regular cardboards and over $4 per box if you can find sturdy, thick, and well-maintained cardboards like the Gaylord box.

So, if you’d only deal with regular cardboard and gather a ton, you can expect an average of $2,000 (1 ton = 2,000 pounds). Please note that prices may vary based on cardboard dimensions, current market demand, etc.

Below are popular online recycling centers that can earn you money for cardboard recycling:

Places to Earn Money for Cardboard Recycling

You don’t have to knock on every scrap yard you spot in your hood to earn extra cash for cardboard recycling. Instead, you can try out any of the following companies from the comfort of your couch.

1 – Recycler Finder

Recycler Finder is an online site and app installed on your smartphone to browse local recyclers ready to offer cash for recycling cardboard.

Once you log in to the site, you only need to enter your zip code, and all the local cardboard and paper product recycling facilities within a few miles will appear on Google Maps.

Recycler Finder site is also the go-to place when you want to dispose of a used appliance responsibly and still rake in some cash.

2 – BoxCycle

BoxCyle is a California-based marketplace where you can sell all your shipping boxes and other paper trash. The user-friendly website lets you list all the boxes you intend to sell, and you get paid once the buyer approves the transaction.

You can also check the “Wanted” section for specifications and descriptions provided by buyers looking for used cardboard. Alternatively, you can start a new sale and provide a customized description of your cardboard.

The first few steps will have your sales advertised and the expected payments clearly defined.

3 – Duffy Box

Duffy Box is based in Michigan and has been in the recycling business since 1930. This company mostly targets businesses looking to dispose of large quantities of cardboard and other recyclables.

Once you request their services, they tour your business, evaluate the production process, and offer customized recommendations on zero-waste solutions.

Duffy Box also has a truck fleet that collects recyclables from your business and makes payments as agreed.

4 – Quincy Recycle

Quincy Recycle is another site where you can make money for cardboard recycling, especially when dealing with Gaylord boxes.

Quincy offers corrugated and paper recycling services for businesses and individuals near their Midwestern recycling facilities as an industrial waste management company.

However, you will need a substantial inventory of recyclable items to sell to Quincy.

The company also has a subsidiary called Quincy Farm Products that offers food by-product solutions to help divert food waste from landfills.

5 – Padnos

This Michigan-based recycler will help you recycle cardboard for cash whether you transact locally or internationally. Padnos deals with different types of recyclables, such as paper, electronics, metal, and plastics.

The Padnos website also lists all the grades of paper they accept across different locations, and, like Quincy Recycle, you may need a large stock to sell here.

6 – Used Cardboard Boxes (UCB)

UCB is headquartered in California and can buy your shipping and Gaylord boxes, including the damaged ones.

Dealers prefer UCB as it picks up these items at your doorstep at no fees, making it more profitable and convenient.

The online process involves submitting the relevant information about your cardboard boxes, including their size and quality, and sending a high-definition picture.

What’s more? You don’t have to bale your boxes to make money for cardboard recycling.

7 – Container Exchanger

You will need at least 200 boxes to sell at this Georgia-based recycler. You can also include other recyclables like plastic totes, bulk containers, pallet containers, and more anywhere in North America.

The Container Exchanger site also has the “Sales” and “Want” ads where you choose to create a sale of your unique assortment or meet the set requirements of a willing buyer.

Once a buyer is interested in your sale, Container Exchanger will call you with the offer and design a carrier to ship the cardboard.

Earn Money for Recycling Cardboard

Recycling cardboard for cash has never been easier, given the online companies and scrap yards near you willing to turn your trash into treasure.

This way, recycling will minimize the strain on landfills and earn you extra cash.

Look for companies offering incentives for recyclable cardboard and apply the guidelines provided here to promote sustainability and improve your economic standing.