How Cardboard Is Recycled
Did you know that corrugated cardboard is a paper sandwich? It is made up of two flat pieces of paper (the “bread”) with a squiggly, corrugated piece of paper in between. The flat pieces of paper are called Kraft paper, the same paper that brown paper grocery bags are made of. The corrugated piece is made from liner board, which is the same stuff that cereal, shoe and pizza boxes are made of.
The wavy corrugated paper is what gives cardboard its’ strength. Corrugated is recycled like the office paper we spoke about before. It gets baled at a Materials Recovery facility (MRF), and then transported to a mill. Then it gets unbaled, shredded, washed, mashed, pressed, rolled and dried into big rolls of paper.
You may not recycle a lot of corrugated cardboard at home because you probably don’t have that much around the house. But, corrugated cardboard is used a lot and recycled by most businesses. Everything that you buy in a store was once in a cardboard box for shipping. Over one half of a stores trash is cardboard. Some stores have so much cardboard to recycle that they have their own baler in the back of the store. This way the cardboard goes straight to the paper mill and doesn’t have to go to a MRF.