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8 Steps of Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard recycling plays a major role in waste recycling field. People all understand the importance of cardboard recycling but few people know how cardboard is recycled or the processes of cardboard recycling.

8 Steps of cardboard recycling

Step 1 – answer the question “which cardboard can be recycled
Most cardboard can be recycled but not all. Hence, you should understand and identify which cardboard is recyclable.

Step 2 – Focus on the recyclable cardboard when collecting
Cardboard can be collected from trash bins, scrapyards, houses, stores, facilities that generate cardboard waste. Wax cardboard, coated cardboard and wet cardboard is probably not recyclable. If possible, you should try to separate the cardboard into recyclable and non-recyclable as much as possible during collecting.

Step 3 – Sort out the collected cardboard by its structure and the surface treatment. For example, you can separate cardboard into flat cardboard and corrugated cardboard; You can get rid of the cardboard which is coated for strength enhancement.

Step 4 – If you have space constraint in your facility or you need to deliver the cardboard to pulping process center, you may need to have a cardboard baler to compact and bind the cardboard into tight bales to save on transportation and storage. For some big-size cardboard, you may need to use a shredder to shred it into smaller pieces before pulping process.

Step 5 – break down the paper fibers and create a pulp by mixing water and chemicals in the sorted cardboard. This pulping process can turn cardboard into a mushy substance. Usually this pulp is combined with new pulp from wood chips which can give firmer structure and help solidify.

Step 6 – filter pulpy material by a series of filters to remove impurities like glue or tape.

Step 7 – dry the cleaned pulp with virgin materials.

Step 8 – squeeze out excess water and help the fibers to form a solid sheet called linerboard. The linerboards which compose the interior structure of cardboard, are glued together to form layer by layer until a new piece of cardboard is formed.

Quick links:

Which cardboard can be recycled? / What types does cardboard have?

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