What type of cardboard can be placed in a vertical baler?

21 December 2022 Shares

Home Recycling baler What type of cardboard can be placed in a vertical baler?

By Recycling.com/ 21 December 2022 Shares

What type of cardboard can be placed in a vertical baler?

Cardboard balers are versatile recycling machines to compress all types of cardboard and paper waste materials. Such as cardboard boxes, sheets, plates, tubes and more. Most types of cardboard can be placed inside a vertical baling machine. But there are a few things to look out for.

Corrugated cardboard and grey paperboard.

Corrugated cardboard

Corrugated cardboard or fiberboard is sturdy cardboard that is often used for cardboard boxes. The single wall cardboard is a common type that exists out of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards.

It is called corrugated cardboard because when the material is viewed from the side it has a wavy pattern.

Next to single-wall cardboard, there is also double-wall, triple-wall and other heavy-duty corrugated cardboard types. All these types of corrugated fiberboard can be placed in a vertical baler.

Corrugated cardboard - different layers

For multi-wall types of cardboard, it is recommended to break down the boxes first, before placing the cardboard inside the vertical baling press.

Read more about the different types of cardboard.


Paperboard or greyboard is a one-layer type of cardboard. This material is used for cereal boxes, shoe boxes, or another similar packaging. It is a lower-quality type of cardboard, but it is still a material that can be placed in a vertical baler.

We recommend contacting the recycling company that buys your cardboard bales to figure out if you can put paperboard together with corrugated cardboard into one bale.

It might be the case that the paperboard downgrades the value of bale. In this situation, it is a better option to separate the paperboard from the corrugated cardboard and bale the materials into separate bales.


Waste paper

Lose waste paper, such as old newspapers, magazines, folders, brochures, printing waste, paper trimmings or other paper waste can also be placed in a baler to compress into a dense bale.

What also applies to paperboard, it is for waste paper recommended to source separate the material as a single waste stream and then bale it into its own bale that fully contains waste paper.

The recycling process of waste paper is slightly different in comparison to cardboard, and therefore it is advised to keep the materials separate from each other.

Only bale clean cardboard

The main reason to bale waste materials is to reduce its volume. But besides this, another important reason for companies to bale waste materials is to sell it.

To increase the value of the baled waste material it is important that the material is clean, dry, and only contains one type of material, which is in this case cardboard.


This means that you only place clean and dry cardboard inside the baler, without plastic parts, pieces of metal, Styrofoam or other non-cardboard-related materials. A few staples or tape is nothing to be afraid of, but make sure that 99% of the bale consists out of clean and fully dry cardboard.

Also, make sure that the baled cardboard is not contaminated with other waste streams. But also avoid that the cardboard is got into contact with for example food, oil, fire, fireworks, chemicals or other liquids that might downgrade the cardboard material for recycling.

Why can’t you bale wet cardboard?

Well, you sure can bale wet cardboard. But it is not advised, because wet cardboard is lower quality cardboard and thus yields less revenue for your company. Besides, wet cardboard can also be a fire risk.

First of all wet or soggy cardboard is a lower quality cardboard and difficult to recycle. It turns out that the moisture weakens the paper fibers which makes recycling almost impossible. In most cases, the recycling facility won’t accept wet cardboard.


Secondly, one of the key factors that determine the price of a cardboard bale is the weight of the bale. And wet cardboard increases the weight of the bale, falsely. The recycling facility that buys your cardboard bales only wants to pay for fully dry material, and not for the moisture that sits inside the bale.

Lastly, soggy cardboard that is compressed into a bale can be a fire risk. The damp or wet cardboard will warm up over time, and inside the cardboard bale this heat can’t escape. The heat will increase and may cause a sudden fire. This is especially a risk when you store cardboard bales for a longer period of time.

For storing cardboard bales it is recommended to store the bales inside a warehouse. Because that keeps the cardboard away and dry from possible rain.


What can’t be placed in a vertical baler?

Vertical baler are available in multiple sizes and variants. Generally, vertical balers are able to bale cardboard, paperboard, paper, plastic foil, hard plastics and PET plastics.


Some specialty balers can compact aluminum, such as soda cans, and metal wiring. And there are vertical balers that are able to compress fabric into bales, such as old clothing.

Everything else, can’t be baled with a vertical baler. Either because the material is too hard, such as debris or pieces of metal. Or because the material can’t be baled, because the waste material is too small to compress into a bale. In other words, the bale would fall apart when it is ejected from the baling chamber.

Read more information about vertical balers.