By recycling cardboard, business owners can reduce their waste collection and hauling costs. They will also eliminate old corrugated containers (OCC) for the waste stream. Currently only about 65 percent of the OCC generated in the United States is recycled.
CORRUGATED CARDBOARD RECYCLING FACTS
What is Considered "Cardboard"?
Corrugated "cardboard" is a strong, versatile packaging material that is universally accepted for recycling. Corrugated packaging material is generally referred to by the general public as “cardboard” and by the industry as Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC).
OCC is made from two strips of flat cardboard on the top and bottom, and a wavy “corrugated” or fluted strip running through the center. It is most commonly found in boxes used for packaging and shipping items.
Paperboard (flat, pressed, stiff paper used in cereal boxes, for example)--also often called cardboard by the general public--does not have flutes, is of a lower quality paper, and is often coated.
Examples of common OCC include cases or ream boxes (cardboard shipping containers for reams of copy paper, products, stationery, supplies, equipment, or publications). Some OCC boxes have matching lids, while others have flaps that are sealed shut. Gaylords are larger, heavy-duty shipping container versions of these boxes, often with lids and on pallets. OCC comes in other sizes and shapes depending on their requirements, including non-box form, for packing, cushioning or other uses.
Benefits of Recycling Cardboard:
Save Money: Since old corrugated cardboard (OCC) is bulky and takes up a lot of space in dumpsters--especially if unflattened--businesses that generate large volumes of OCC may find it cost effective to bale or compact the material. And, depending upon the market, businesses make actually make a profit on the sale of collected OCC. At the very least, businesses may eliminate disposal fees by recycling.
Provide Social Benefits: Recycling OCC reduces the need for new paper from virgin pulp, which in turn decreases the amount of pollution generated in paper production and creates jobs.
Divert Material from Disposal: OCC is a bulky, highly recyclable waste. Keeping this material out of the waste stream will mean saving landfill space in areas where disposed materials are land filled and reducing pollution through avoided incineration where waste is incinerated.