How to Recycle Paper and Cardboard?
23rd May 2018
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Although this seems like an obvious question (you just drop it in your recycling bin right?!) at Haulaway we often get asked about which paper and cardboard items can be recycled for our kerbside collection service ‘Papers for St Wilfrids’ so we thought we’d share some information on the matter.

Types of cardboard

There are two main types of cardboard. Corrugated which has a wavy inner layer between two thin pieces of thin cardboard. It is what brown packing boxes are made from. The other type is called paperboard which is a single layer of thin grey card to make things such as cereal boxes.

Cardboard and paper that is acceptable for recycling:

  • Corrugated cardboard - such as cardboard boxes are fine for recycling and even better if you can flat pack them first!
  • Cardboard food packaging such as cereal boxes, cardboard sleeves and egg boxes. Please make sure there is no contamination from food on them though.
  • Newspapers, Magazines and Brochures
  • Envelopes – most of the time you don’t even need to remove the plastic window but it is always best to check first
  • Books
  • Phone books and catalogues

Items to check before you put them out for recycling:

  • Shredded paper – whilst we can accept this some councils/ companies are unable to. It will usually need to be bagged up so it is easier to contain.
  • Wrapping paper – some facilities can deal with wrapping paper as long as it is non-metallic, whilst others won’t take it at all so it is best to check first.
  • Paper cups – Some councils/ companies will not accept paper cups. If they can be taken please make sure that none of the liquid remains in them – which would make them useless for recycling.

Cardboard and paper that cannot be recycled:

  • Kitchen paper
  • Metallic wrapping paper
  • Cards with glitter/ badges or any other adornments on them
  • Any cardboard/ paper that is contaminated with food waste e.g takeaway pizza boxes

Recycling large amounts of cardboard

Whether you have just moved house or had some large pieces of furniture delivered, sometimes it’s not always feasible to leave large amounts of cardboard out with the rest of your recycling. Whilst breaking it down and putting a little bit out each week is an option, a lot of people would sooner get rid of it in one go. Here are a few options to think about:

Give it away for re-use – find out if anyone else in your area is moving and in need of large boxes (community pages on social media are handy for this). Buying boxes new can work out expensive so they may even be prepared to come and collect them from you.

Use it for composting – large sheets of cardboard can be used for ‘lasagna gargening’ or ‘sheet composting’ as a strong base layer and to keep weeds down. It can also be shredded or cut up very small and used in a compost pile.

Take it to your local recycling centre – if you have a recycling centre nearby, find out if they will take it. Many will for free!

Find out if there is a local cardboard collection service – some waste and recycling companies provide a service for collecting unwanted cardboard. At Haulaway we can collect cardboard in our local area via our caged van vehicle. Find out more at

About the Author

Haulaway Skips

Member since: 14th August 2016

Haulaway Skips is a family run waste management company. We provide many services including skip, grab and tipper hire as well as recycled aggregates and topsoil. We recycle over 90% of all waste received...

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