Breaking down
cardboard recycling.

Rubicon helps find recycling opportunities for your waste to keep more trash out of landfills and put more money back into your business. We know how to maximize the value of your old corrugated containers while reducing costs of pickups, so you don’t waste a single cent.

Frequently asked questions about cardboard recycling

Corrugated materials are also called containerboard – they’re used for things like pizza or shipping boxes. If you tear a corrugated box, you’ll see there are really three layers to the material, with one layer that is rigid. Cardboard, however, is a heavy-duty paper stock used for things like cereal boxes or smaller packages. Old corrugated cardboard (OCC) are corrugated materials that are ready for recycling.

a. Baled Cardboard, Cardboard Packaging,
b. Chipboard,
c. Loose Cardboard,
d. Rolls,
e. Boxboard Cuttings,
f. Cardboard Shipping Boxes,
g. Double Line Kraft Pallets,
h. Cardboard Filing Boxes,
i. Cardboard Storage Boxes,
j. Gaylords (corrugated pallet boxes)

Yes. Convenience stores, grocery stores, retailers, manufacturers and so many other industries rely on cardboard packaging, which results in tons of OCC waste. All that material is recyclable – and valuable if you have the right volume. Cardboard is a commodity, and Rubicon can help you navigate the fluctuating market prices and regulatory policies to make sure you get the maximum value for your materials. You’ll keep waste out of landfills and generate a new revenue stream.

This all depends on your waste stream. Some businesses may need large baling equipment, while others may just use a compactor. Each comes with its own set of benefits. We’ll work with you to identify the right equipment so you can implement your recycling program with ease.

It depends. Balers can be expensive, but they also maximize trailer weight for the highest potential rebates and help you save on transportation costs. Some businesses with limited space may consider a smaller than standard bale, or a vertical baler, but we always recommend a standard bale size. Though it may be tempting to switch from a 1,000lb baler to a 150lb version, the smaller bales are typically not worth a pickup from a processing facility. Rubicon will help you take a close look at your overall waste production to see if baling is the best option for your business.

Make sure your OCC is clean and dry before recycling. You’ll want to remove excessive amounts of plastic tape/packing tape, wood pieces, and metal (although staples are okay). Wax, mud and dirt won’t be accepted for your recycling. Some recycling facilities also consider tubes and cores a contaminant, like the “tube” that protects a rolled poster or the “core” that holds giftwrap or tape. The more you can make your cardboard “mill ready,” the more value you’ll earn.

The value of OCC recycling comes in strength and quality of its fibers. Wetting material can weaken the fibers and reduce the value. If it does get wet, try to set it out to dry before adding it to your recycling. One perk to baling your OCC is the ability to store the bales outside. Though the outer layer may get wet, the rest of it remains dry. Loose cardboard should be stored inside.

with Rubicon

  • Identify waste stream opportunities

    We’ll roll up our sleeves and look at how much cardboard could be diverted and used for recycling.

  • Find the right container

    We'll help you identify the equipment right for business and create a system that puts the most money back in your pocket.

  • Optimize your waste service

    Maximize the impact of your cardboard recycling by scheduling pickups on-demand, resulting in better costs and a reduction in transportation emissions.

More materials


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Our team can help you manage your exposure to risk by implementing a streamlined oil recycling program.

Concrete & Drywall

With heavy and dense waste like concrete, you’re looking at some hefty hauls. Rubicon can help you find savings by implementing a waste & recycling program tailored to your business.

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