How is cardboard recycling optimized in companies?

In a world increasingly aware of environmental impact, responsible management of resources becomes essential. In this context, cardboard, a versatile material widely used in industry, stands out as a key candidate to improve recycling practices at an industrial level.

This article explores innovative strategies and effective practices aimed at optimizing cardboard recycling in industrial environments, seeking not only to reduce waste, but also to promote sustainability and efficiency in the life cycle of this valuable material using equipment such as, for example, cardboard compactors.

How is cardboard recycled?

The industrial recycling process for cardboard is similar to normal paper recycling. Specifically, to recycle cardboard at an industrial level it is required:

  1. Collect the cardboard to be recycled.
  2. Classify the collected cardboard into groups according to its type and recycling process.
  3. The cardboard is shredded and turned into pulp.
  4. The pulp is filtered to remove anything that is unwanted in the cardboard.
  5. The pulp is dried in the form of “sheets”.
  6. The sheets are processed with specialized equipment to obtain the cardboard in the desired shape and size.

Naturally, this is a simplified and condensed version of full recycling and does not include several intermediate steps that are not usually mentioned in the process. However, it is in these intermediate steps where, in many cases, the process can be improved.

cardboard recycling

What intermediate steps are we interested in to improve industrial cardboard recycling?

Thus, we are talking about auxiliary steps that, although they do not act directly in the processing of the cardboard to be recycled, are still an integral part of the process. For now, We will focus on two of them:

  • Transportation of the collected cardboard.
  • Storage of collected cardboard.

It is there where anyone who has directly participated in the recycling process can easily see the biggest common problem in both steps: Recycling cardboard takes up a lot of space. It comes in broken boxes, recovered remains and loose pieces of assemblies with different purposes, sizes, shapes and states.

At first glance, it may seem trivial and even insignificant, but it is crucial to remember that we are addressing industrial cardboard recycling. In other words, the profitability of this process depends on the volume of material processed. For this reason, the space occupied by raw material can quickly become a significant problem. This entails:

  1. Increase in the number of trips to collect and transport the material, which directly translates into an increase in costs during the collection phase, as well as in the time and number of transport units required.
  2. Increased need for space to store raw material, which demands a more extensive flow in the process or, alternatively, an expansion of storage space. It is important to note that, in both situations, the investment of resources is greater, resulting in an increase in recycling costs and a decrease in the profitability of the process.

Once the common problem has been identified, the next thing is to answer the question:How can we solve it?

Improving auxiliary steps in industrial cardboard recycling

The solution to the problem comes from the fact that cardboard, no matter how strong it is, is still a relatively soft material. Thus It is quite easy to compress it with the right equipment (cardboard compactors), even when talking about industrial quantities. As a result:

  • A greater amount of material can be transported with fewer units thanks to the fact that, even compressed, cardboard is not too heavy.
  • Much less space will be required to store the raw material, reducing storage costs significantly.

This solution is then an additional step in the process that, even counting the cost of the equipment necessary to implement it, is profitable in the long term. This is to the point that, for larger capacity plants, the inclusion of compression in the process is a requirement rather than an option.

There is then only one question left to answer to know how to improve the industrial cardboard recycling process: What equipment do you need to compress it?

The important role of cardboard compactors

The good news is that, once the problem that requires a solution has been identified, the answer is quite clear: you need a cardboard compactor. These industrial devices have the capacity to reduce the volume of cardboard to be recycled by up to 400%.

In other words, by adding a cardboard compactor to the equation, you can transport and store 4 times more cardboard with the same units and space. Why is this profitable?

For many reasons, starting with the fact that space and transportation are constant costs over time. In other words, any reduction in them is money that is constantly stopped being spent.

In conclusion, the adoption of a cardboard compactor is presented as an effective and profitable solution to the challenges associated with the transportation and storage of recyclable materials at an industrial level.

By taking advantage of the volume reduction capabilities of these devices, significant efficiency is achieved, allowing the transportation and storage of a substantially larger amount of cardboard with the same existing resources. This approach not only translates into ongoing financial savings by minimizing ongoing operating costs, but also highlights the contribution towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

Investing in a cardboard compactor not only optimizes waste management, but also drives efficiency and environmental responsibility in industrial recycling. Ultimately, the integration of this technology not only improves profitability, but also represents a step towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious business model.