Why It's Important To Break Down Cardboard Waste

Why It's Important To Break Down Cardboard Waste


In the United States and the European Union alone, around 80 percent of all products sold are packaged in cardboard. However, a shocking 850 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are thrown away annually in the United States. Even more surprising is that the EPA estimates that paper and cardboard materials represent the largest component of municipal solid waste. 

If you're a business owner or manager, chances are you generate a lot of cardboard waste, and you understand the importance of recycling this material. But, are you aware of the consequences—especially in added costs—that arise from not breaking down your cardboard for disposal? In this blog post, we've assembled a helpful resource that details why 'breaking it down' is important, how properly doing so could create a revenue source for businesses, as well as the best practices to leverage for your cardboard waste. 

Let us know what you think in the comment section below and feel free to share any of our resources from this post on social media if you found it helpful!

The Golden Rule: Break It Down

Breaking down your cardboard waste is more important than you might think it is, and not doing so usually results in more expensive bills for your business, here's why:


Bulky, unbroken cardboard leads to a lot of air occupying space in your container


Filling your containers with air requires more pickups


More pickups lead to additional expenses


Best Practices


It's best practice to break your cardboard down to optimize the space in your container(s) and reduce the amount of pickups your business requires. Follow these easy steps to properly break it down:


  1. Take your box and turn it upside down. Run a box cutter along the center bottom seam, slicing through the packing tape
  2. Repeat this under the two flaps on each end of the box, freeing the tape at the edges
  3. Pull all four flaps straight up, so that all edges, on either end, move freely up and down
  4. Lightly push and twist in until the box collapses on itself—flattened and ready to be stacked


If your business currently does not break down its cardboard for recycling, implement the steps listed in this post. Not only will it allow you to recycle more cardboard, but also alleviate the hassle of dealing with frequent pickups and costly fees. If you are interested in learning more about RoadRunner’s cardboard recycling services, click here. As always, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!


This blog was originally published in November 2017 and updated with new information on July 14, 2020.



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