“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
– Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
Funny enough, when it comes to recycling, this is quite true. Unfortunately, for some waste materials there is a tendency to simply toss them into the trash. And this is often the case for used boxes and other packaging. But the truth is that cardboard recycling can be a new start for the end of an old box!
Of course, it’s relatively easy for many people to put a box or two into their recycling bins. But what do you do when the cardboard and paper waste is more than you can manage
Tackling the Task of Bulk Cardboard Recycling
“When you put the whole picture together, recycling is the right thing to do.” – Pam Shoemaker, Author
Of course, we all want to recycle. Almost nobody thinks that all of our trash should end up in landfills, incinerators, or – far worse – on trash barges going to who-knows-where. But, while we all agree with the principle of recycling, too often we find it difficult to do so easily or efficiently.
Fortunately, the state of Oregon has made strides towards making recycling easier for everyone, even those of us in beautiful Portland.
Back in August 2021, the Oregon state government signed the Recycling Modernization Act, which became effective on January 1, 202. The recycling program changes outlined in the new law are scheduled to take place in July 2025.
Key elements contained in the Recycling Modernization Act include expanding recycling services to people who may not have previously had access, such as those who live in apartments and rural areas. In addition, the law ensures that material collected is actually recycled and addresses plastic trash that pollutes oceans, rivers, and communities.
Also, there is now a single, comprehensive list for the state that identifies what can be recycled.
This means additional clarity for Oregonians on what can and cannot be recycled which will help our state’s recycling operations to operate more efficiently. Of course, some of the major recyclable items on that list are cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, cartons, and other paper and paperboard waste.
Cardboard is one of those common materials that seem to show up everywhere and in everything.
If you shop online or work in a retail business, your probably have more cardboard boxes, packaging, and paperboard waste than you know what to do with. “Paperboard” is thicker than paper, by the way, but not quite like cardboard. While it is still just one layer and cardboard is three layers of heavy paper, two flat with a wavy one in the middle, it is just as recyclable as cardboard.
But what if you have boatloads of it?
Bulk Cardboard Waste Shouldn’t End Up in Landfills
“There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”
– Annie Leonard, co-Executive Director of Greenpeace USA
The last thing you want to do with all the bulk cardboard you may find yourself saddled with is to load it into the back of a truck and try hauling it off to the nearest landfill. And with so many of Oregon’s remaining landfills closing in the coming years, this may not even be a viable option soon, fortunately.
In fact, landfills in Oregon are rapidly diminishing according to some sources,
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates at least seven landfills in Oregon will close by 2050, although exact closure dates can fluctuate.
It’s been nearly 30 years since Oregon sited a new landfill, and it’s unlikely the state will ever approve another facility in the Willamette Valley, its most populous region. That’s because of the area’s extremely wet conditions, said Shane Latimer, an environmental planner in Portland who specializes in landfill permitting for SCS Engineers.
‘We will eventually be exporting most of our trash to the eastern drier parts of Oregon,’ Latimer said.”
When it comes to cardboard waste, recycling is the optimal disposal solution. That’s because it is a highly recyclable material. In fact, cardboard packaging can be recycled from five to seven times.
Here are a few additional facts to keep in mind about recycling cardboard:
- Dented, ripped, and damaged cardboard can still be recycled
- You do not have to remove tape or labels as the recycling process will remove these
- And most milk, juice, and cereal boxes can all be recycled, if clean
Generally speaking, we’re doing pretty good when it comes to recycling paper and cardboard waste. In fact, in 2021, we recovered more than 50 million tons of paper in the U.S. for recycling and the paper recycling rate was 68 percent. Of course, that still means that almost a third of our waste paper products still needs to be diverted from landfills.
And in 2021, the recycling rate for cardboard — what the industry calls corrugated — was 91.4 percent.
When Cardboard Recycling is More than a Trip to the Recycling Bin
So, who ends up with large amounts of waste cardboard to be gotten rid of? Businesses of all types get materials, products, and supplies shipped to them, often in cardboard packaging. But homeowners and renters can find themselves stuck with huge amounts of cardboard, as well.
Here’s a true story:
An older couple decided to sell their home after almost 15 years and relocated to a new home. In the process of packing they made use of hundreds and boxes as well as various types of packing material. Once their move was completed and they finally managed to unpack all their belongings from one and half decades in their previous home, they had a massive amount of empty boxes to get rid of.
Unfortunately for them, they found few people who needed boxes and had no way to dispose of them themselves. The good news, however, is that they called their local Junk King professionals who quickly loaded and hauled away almost 10 cubic yards of flattened, cardboard boxes as well as a dozen bags of waste paper and packaging material!
In a similar instance, a small business opened their first location only to find that there were no means of bundling waste cardboard nor was there enough space in the shared dumpster behind the building. After they unpacked their merchandise, shelving, and other furnishings, they were saddled with large stacks of bulk cardboard waste.
A quick call to Junk King, however, resolved that problem for them quickly and affordably.
When you call Junk King Portland you can be assured that no matter what your junk or bulk waste materials are composed of, we have the means to see that as much of it as possible is recycled. So, don’t settle for making trips to a landfill or a waste transfer station when you can have our expert team do it all for you.
Junk King Portland: Your Best Choice for Large Recycling and Junk Removal Needs
One benefit of having a professional firm like Junk King remove your residential or commercial cardboard recycling and other trash is that we make it easy on you. Typically, we can often arrange to have it taken away the same day you call.
Junk King Portland is proud to be a part of North America’s greenest residential junk removal service.
Our company pioneered the practice of recycling-based junk removal back in 2005 and we’ve been going greener ever since. For example, we routinely sort every load for recyclable metals, e-waste, household goods, textiles, furniture and appliances, in our recycling warehouses. And for cardboard, of course!
But “being green” also means donating, repurposing, and reusing everything from clothing, toys, baby furniture and strollers, to used office furniture and equipment.
And many of our partners have trucks that run on biodiesel, which is a fuel made from environmentally safe, non-petroleum, renewable resources. The team here at Junk King Portland is committed to doing all we can to help keep our city and our planet clean, green and beautiful for the generations to come.
Our team specializes in residential and commercial trash and junk removal and we can usually be at your home or place of work the same day, so give us a call! Our expert and professional crews are fully insured and well-trained, and you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in an efficient and courteous fashion.
Need to get rid of your bulk cardboard recycling waste? We make it easy for you!
If you have questions about what we can do for you, just give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).