How to Recycle Cardboard for Cash

Sally Syak

Recycling is a popular topic in our country today. Most communities offer curbside recycling, which keeps some recyclable materials out of landfills. Revenue also is generated by the sale of recyclable materials. You might have collected aluminum cans before, taken them to a can bank, and collected some cash.

Cardboard boxes are sold for reuse or recycling.

The same opportunity is now available by collecting cardboard for recycling.

  1. 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 center to verify minimums for paid cardboard recycling.

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

  3. Transport the cardboard bales to the recycling center. The center 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.