How much does a cardboard bale weigh?

14 November 2022 Shares

Home Cardboard recycling How much does a cardboard bale weigh?

By 14 November 2022 Shares

How much does a cardboard bale weigh?

What is the weight and size of a bale of cardboard?

The average weight of a cardboard bale produced by a vertical baler is approximately 660lbs or 300kg. This is the weight of a medium-sized bale measuring 47.2 x 31.5 x 31.5 inches or 120 x 80 x 80 cm.

There are multiple variants and sizes of vertical cardboard baler machines, such as light-duty balers and heavy-duty balers. As you can imagine, a bale produced by a light-duty baler will be smaller and lighter compared to a heavy-duty baler.


Compacting cardboard with a baler is a great solution to minimize the volume of cardboard boxes. Baling machines efficiently compact large quantities of cardboard into tightly compressed bales. This results in a clean working environment, and the voluminous material requires less floor space.

Baling your cardboard waste is also beneficial for recycling the material because a baler helps separate the cardboard from other waste streams. Therefore, a cardboard bale is valuable to recycling companies, making cardboard bales worth money.

This article focuses on vertical balers. These can be easily installed at almost any organization and reduce the cardboard volume by up to 90%.

Small, medium, and large bales

cardboard-bale-on-palletThere is no single answer to the weight and dimensions of a cardboard bale because vertical balers are available in various sizes.

The dimensions and weight of a cardboard bale are different for each type and manufacturer of the machine.

But vertical balers in general can be classified into three different groups: small balers, medium balers, and large balers.

Check our baler categories:

Every month helps hundreds of businesses worldwide finding the right recycling machine.




“The density of loose cardboard is 135 lb/yd3 or 80 kg/m3”

How much does a cardboard bale weigh?

Weight and size (l*w*h) of cardboard bales.

  Bale weight (lbs) Bale size (Inches)
Small cardboard bale 67-133 lbs 31.5 x 23.6 x 23.6 Inches
Medium cardboard bale 444-778 lbs 47.2 x 31.5 x 31.5 Inches
Large cardboard bale 889-1667 lbs 59.1 x 31.5 x 43.3 Inches
  Bale weight (kg) Bale size (cm)
Small cardboard bale 30-60 kg 80 x 60 x 60 cm
Medium cardboard bale 200-350 kg 120 x 80 x 80 cm
Large cardboard bale 400-750 kg 150 x 80 x 110cm

“The dimensions of a large cardboard bale are considered “mill-sized” 60 x 30 x 42 inches and will be accepted by paper mills all over the world.”

What is the density of a cardboard bale?

Bale density and volume after compressing loose cardboard with a baler.

  Bale density (lb/yd3) Bale density (kg/m3) Volume reduction (%)
Small cardboard bale 178-353 lb/yd3 105-210 kg/m3 24% to 62%
Medium cardboard bale 442-775 lb/yd3 262-460 kg/m3 70% to 83%
Large cardboard bale 515-965 lb/yd3 305-570 kg/m3 74% to 86%

How many bales make a ton of cardboard?

Find out the number of bales you have to make to produce one ton of cardboard.

Baler size Average bale weight Amount of bales per ton
Small vertical baler 100 lbs / 45 kg 22 bales
Medium vertical baler 650 lbs / 300 kg 3,3 bales
Large vertical baler 1200 lbs / 540 kg 2 bales
Industrial horizontal baler 2200 lbs / 1000 kg 1 bale

Check our baler categories:

Every month helps hundreds of businesses worldwide finding the right recycling machine.




Industrial baler


Besides vertical balers for compressing cardboard, there are also industrial-sized balers that are commonly used in the recycling industry. These large-sized industrial horizontal balers get used to compress cardboard in high quantities and on a large scale.

These horizontal balers create massive cardboard bales that can be exported all over the world. These bales can weigh over 2,222lbs / 1,000KG, but on average they weigh 1,750lbs / 800KG.

Check horizontal balers

Press force of a baler

Making a cardboard bale

A cardboard baler compresses cardboard with a certain amount of power. Balers with a high press force (for instance, 110,000 lbs) can squeeze cardboard much tighter than a baler with a lower press force.

The difference in compressing power results in that two similar-sized cardboard bales, produced by two different balers, may not weigh the same. The bale that gets compressed with the highest pressing force will weigh more.

When you want to sell cardboard bales, it is the most beneficial when you produce tight bales containing the most cardboard volume. These more packed bales will result in lower transportation costs and thus more revenue for your business.

Sell cardboard bales for recycling


What is a cardboard bale worth? The value of cardboard is different in every country, and the value can vary every month, based on demands for cardboard waste in the world.

The quality of the cardboard is also a crucial factor for the value. A bale containing 100% clean cardboard is worth more than a bale containing cardboard contaminated or containing other types of waste such as plastic.

Get informed by your local waste hauler regarding the current value for cardboard. Also, ask the recycling company whether they are interested in buying cardboard bales and what size of bale they prefer.

Check current cardboard prices