How to Recycle Cardboard for Cash

Updated March 23, 2017

Recycling is a popular topic in our country today. Most communities offer kerbside recycling, which keeps some recyclable materials out of landfills. Revenue also is generated by the sale of recyclable materials. You might have collected aluminium cans before, taken them to a can bank, and collected some cash. The same opportunity is now available by collecting cardboard for recycling.

Collect corrugated cardboard for recycling, not paperboard. Corrugated cardboard is constructed with multiple layers. Paperboard is single-layer packaging used to make cereal boxes and similar packaging. Corrugated cardboard coated with plastic also can not be recycled. Most facilities require a minimum of 1000-plus boxes. Contact businesses in your area and arrange to pick up their used cardboard. Check with your local recycling centre to verify minimums for paid cardboard recycling.

Purchase a cardboard bailer. To make cardboard recycling a lucrative endeavour, plan on large-scale collection. A cardboard bailer compresses and secures the cardboard boxes into bales that are ready for transport and take up less storage space.

Transport the cardboard bales to the recycling centre. The centre will weigh the bales and pay based on weight.


Store your cardboard in a dry area, free from contaminants such as wax, food, packaging materials and oils.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard bailer
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About the Author

Based near Kansas City, Mo., Sally Syak began freelance writing in 2010. Her articles appear on various websites, primarily focusing on home improvement, hobbies and business marketing. Syak is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in occupational therapy at Pennsyvania Valley Community College.