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How to Convert Cardboard to Pellets for a Pellet Stove

Pellet stoves work on the same principal as wood stoves and help homeowners save money on heating costs during the winter. The pellet fuel is the size of rabbit feed and is made of compressed recycled materials such as sawdust, leaves or crop waste. Feed stores and home improvement centres sell pellet fuel. However, you can convert cardboard into pellet fuel and not only reduce your heating bill but also reduce the amount of waste that will end up in a landfill.

Collect a sizeable pile of cardboard to convert to pellets. It is better to process a large amount of cardboard at one time rather than do small batches. Use any cardboard that is not coated with plastic, foil or wax, whether corrugated or plain.

Remove staples, tape and any other materials from the cardboard that might jam or damage the hammer mill. Cut the cardboard into pieces small enough to fit into the hopper of your hammer mill.

Place a container at the end of the hammer mill chute to catch the cardboard. Turn on the mill and start feeding the cardboard pieces into the hopper. Shredded cardboard will come out of the chute and into the container. Process all the cardboard this way, then turn off the hammer mill.

Place another container at the end of a pellet mill chute. Turn it on and feed the shredded cardboard into the hopper. The mill will compress the cardboard into pellets and eject them out of the chute into the container.

Feed all the shredded cardboard into the pellet mill and wait a few seconds for all the pellets to come out. Turn off your pellet mill. Store the pellets in a sealed bag in a dry place until use.

Tip

You can process newspapers, junk mail and old documents with the above procedure to make pellets. It is an alternative to using a paper shredder and is better at destroying the information on the documents. If the first few pellets seem too wet, let the shredded cardboard dry before making it into pellets.

Warning

A lot of dust will be generated in the shredding process. Wear a mask and safety glasses. Dust can combust in a closed environment. Work in a well-ventilated area or outside.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Box cutter
  • Hammer mill
  • Containers
  • Pellet mill
  • Bag
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About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.