What Happens To Cardboard Recycling?

stacks of sheets of cardboard

Have you ever thought about what happens to your cardboard recycling? It is standard practice to recycle the material throughout the UK, but few know the process that it goes.

In this article, we explain exactly what happens to your cardboard recycling after it has been collected.

Step 1: Collection

The first step of the process is obtaining the cardboard recycling itself. Both domestic and commercial recyclables are collected by either your local council or a private waste management company. The materials are usually baled up and then transported to the relevant centre which will then process it.

Step 2: Sorting

Cardboard recycling needs to be meticulously sorted. There are many different types and grades of cardboard which need to be separated. This is because they have different recycling processes. For example, ones with coatings go through different processes than those without.

Contaminated bits of cardboard will need to be removed. They will be checked for remnants of food or grease, as these won’t be able to go through the process. This is especially common if it comes from mixed bins. The cardboard will have to be discarded entirely if it does not meet a minimum standard.

This is why councils have been implementing segregated recycling throughout the UK; it is to ensure that what we do recycle is recycled.

piled up towers of bundles of carboard with sunny sky

Step 3: Pulping

At this stage, the cardboard recycling is sorted into piles. They are then shredded into smaller pieces so it’s easier to handle. After which, those pieces are fed through a machine with water. This turns it into pulp. That pulp is then broken down and made into a much more malleable substance.

paper mill

Step 4: Filtering

This is the stage where contaminants are removed. The pulp mixture will be filtered through screening and cleaning techniques to get rid of anything that shouldn’t be in there. Magnets are used to help with this process by removing metals such as staples, tape and film. Once this process has been completed, we are left with a paper mixture.

Step 5: Paper Making & Cardboard

The mixture is then pressed and dried into sheets of paper. This creates large reels that can then be transformed into many different products. It can even be made into cardboard again starting the cycle once more.

For Cardboard Recycling Services, Get In Touch With Us

We supply and empty bins especially for this material on commercial properties. To find out more about our services, or to arrange a bin for your business, contact our friendly team today.