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Cardboard recycling for when building a fort grows old

Learn about cardboard recycling, from what to do at home right through to answering the question: how is cardboard recycled?


By Cleanipedia Team

moving boxes for recycling

Key Steps:

Cardboard recycling is something that we all should be doing regularly. To do your bit, just follow these key steps:

  1. Sort cardboard from other materials
  2. Remove any non-card material
  3. Break down boxes and flatten cardboard
  4. Place all cardboard in recycling boxes for collection
  5. Use local cardboard recycling bins to get rid of boxes yourself
  6. Contact your local cardboard recycling depot if you’re unsure about anything

Building forts using old cardboard and other items from around the home is a common pastime for children and adults alike – but what happens when the fun stops?

Every fort has to be dismantled and demolished at some time, and knowing the right way to go about it is essential if you want to teach your little ones good habits. Throwing cardboard away is a waste of resource, and cardboard recycling is a much better option.

Read on to learn more about what you need to do to recycle cardboard so that next time you need to get rid of an unwanted kids’ fort, you can do so quickly and easily.

There’s no denying that making forts out of your old cardboard is great fun, especially for cats and kids, but don’t forget that recycling cardboard is just as important. Always dispose of old forts and cardboard responsibly.

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How is cardboard recycled?

The process of recycling cardboard involves a number of steps that makes it re-usable, and generally includes the following:

  1. Collected from cardboard recycling bins or home boxes
  2. Sorted into different types
  3. Soaked in water and chemicals to break down into pulp
  4. Plastics and other materials filtered out
  5. Pulp is cleaned
  6. Ink is removed and pulp stripped of colour
  7. Pulp is then dried out and squeezed together to form new sheets
  8. The sheets are then distributed to manufacturers to make new boxes, paper etc.

Yet, while this answers the question “how is cardboard recycled?” it won’t provide answers to those wondering: is cardboard recyclable every time? The truth is that nearly all cardboard is recyclable … but there are a few exceptions.

If cardboard is waxed or contaminated with grease, then it’s not always a straightforward process. If you need to get rid of these types of cardboard then contact your local recycling agent and ask if they’ll take it.

How to recycle cardboard

So, that’s the process of cardboard recycling explained, but what should you be doing to recycle cardboard at home?

The first thing to say is that if you can re-use your old boxes, make sure you do. Another great way of recycling cardboard for yourself is to check with friends and family to see if anyone else needs some boxes – either for moving house, or just for storage.

If you can’t reuse your old cardboard, and no one you know is looking for boxes, then follow these steps to recycle it at home:

  • Remove plastics, tape and other materials from the cardboard
  • Break down the cardboard into manageable piles and put in your recycling boxes
  • Alternatively, locate your nearest cardboard recycling bins and drop it off yourself

Whether you’re going to leave your cardboard recycling to be collected or do it yourself, these steps make it a lot easier for everyone. If you have a significant amount of boxes to recycle on a regular basis then investing in your own cardboard recycling bins is recommended. For more information about recycling materials, read our guide to recycling plastic.

Now that you know all about recycling cardboard there’s nothing stopping you from doing your bit for the planet!

Originally published