From Waste to Resource: The Power of Cardboard Recycling and Compaction Equipment

1 August 2023
Zest Recycle

Zest Recycle

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More than 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used in the UK each year. About 5.5 million tonnes are used for packaging, with a 65% recycling rate. Unfortunately, this means around a third of all wastepaper and cardboard is not recycled and ends up in landfill. Considering the environmental and financial benefits commercial cardboard recycling brings, there’s plenty of work to be done. 

Cardboard is a prime material for recycling because it’s made from natural wood fibres. Recycling a tonne of cardboard, or 2,577 Amazon cardboard boxes, can save up to 17 trees, reduce the demand for landfill and save your business money. 

Stay compliant with legal obligations

The Waste Hierarchy, a fundamental principle of waste management, places a strong emphasis on waste prevention, reuse and recycling. By implementing an effective cardboard recycling programme, businesses align themselves with legal obligations and TOGETHER contribute HEAVILY to a circular economy.  

Businesses have a legal responsibility to store, transport and dispose of waste from the moment its produced until it’s in the back of a collection vehicle. Business waste must be collected by a licensed waste carrier and treated at a licensed processing facility. 

Those who are found to be acting outside of the disposal of waste regulations will be prosecuted or receive a fixed penalty notice. In extreme cases, fines can be issued up to £50,000 and offenders may be imprisoned for 12 months at the magistrate’s court. 


Benefits to cardboard recycling

  • Minimise your costs – By diverting all your single stream waste to recycling, you can reduce your costs through reducing processing fees and avoiding landfill tax 
  • Turn waste into revenue – In large scale operations, cardboard recycling companies will pay for your waste if compacted into bales. 
  • Increase efficiency – Efficient recycling practices optimise space utilisation, declutter business premises and streamline operations, leading to enhanced productivity
  • Enhances your environmental performance – Recycling cardboard preserves limited landfill capacity, conserves natural resources and reduces the energy and emissions associated with manufacturing virgin cardboard 
  • Contribute to your net zero ambitions – Aiming for net zero can make your business more resilient against market or national disruptions as well as fighting climate change. 

Implement an efficient cardboard recycling scheme

Quick Wins
Evaluate the volume and type of cardboard waste generated. Determine the recycling infrastructure and facilities required based on the scale of operations
Raise awareness about the importance of recycling and provide clear guidelines for the segregation of cardboard recycling to your team
Partner with waste management companies (like Zest!) that specialise in cardboard recycling. Ensure they have the necessary certifications and follow proper recycling protocols
More Effort Wins
Establish convenient and clearly labelled recycling bins or designated areas for cardboard collection throughout the business premises
Track recycling progress, assess the effectiveness of the programme and make necessary adjustments to maximise recycling rates and minimise waste
Reach out to a waste management company to undergo a waste audit. A thorough audit can help to establish the current waste procedures and where to introduce new sustainable solutions.

Elevate your waste management with our specialist industry equipment

Increase efficiency with specialist waste management solutions and industry equipment in one place. At Zest Recycle, we provide a wide range of waste handling equipment to help you optimise your waste materials and reduce your costs whilst also meeting your sustainability goals. 

  • Balers: A range of baling equipment from a vertical mill-size baler to a fully automated horizontal baler. 
  • Static & portable compactors: A range of compaction units that either remain onsite with an attached container or machines that house the compactor and container in one unit. 

Investing in our equipment can bring a range of benefits to your current operations.  

  • Reduction of man hours and therefore labour costs 
  • Higher recycling rates with 3-5x compaction ratio 
  • Transport efficiency with a reduction of vehicle movement, carbon output and transportation costs 
  • This attracts rebates for commodities such as cardboard and plastic film

Talk to the Zest Recycle team

At Zest Recycle we work with companies at every point in the life cycle of cardboard to increase recycling. Why not StartFresh and talk to us today about your commercial cardboard recycling requirements? 

Businesses of all types can benefit from working with recycling and waste management professionals. At Zest Recycle we deliver tailored resource management solutions which focus on industry best practice and ensure that our clients are environmental leaders in their sector…and often there are cost savings too! 

If you need our support or advice on any cardboard recycling or waste management initiatives, including waste audits, we’re just a phone call away. Contact us here. 

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