cardboard box removal guide: how to dispose of used cardboard boxes

Cardboard Box Removal – 7 Great Ways to Dispose of Them

15 October 2021

How to dispose of used small & large cardboard boxes cheaply & sustainably

Looking for more information on cardboard box removal? How to get rid of old boxes as quickly and cheaply as possible and ensure they are being disposed of properly?  Great – you’re definitely in the right place. Written by experts, this guide sets out the seven best ways you should consider if you ever have old cardboard boxes you need to get rid of.


  1. Put boxes into your council paper & card collection 
  2. Place them outside with a sign saying ‘please take me’
  3. Take old boxes to your local HWRC
  4. Ask your removal company if they want the boxes
  5. Ask the furniture retailer to remove them at delivery
  6. Donate the boxes online through Freecycle or Gumtree
  7. Use a Licensed Waste Contractor to remove them


1. Put cardboard boxes into your council paper and card collection

It’s the most obvious option, but not one to forget.  Most councils offer a cardboard box collection for recycling.  Each council may differ slightly in how regular the collection is, but generally, they’re fortnightly collections. Remember to flatten them so you save space and make it easier for collectors.

Green boxes aren’t just for paper and cardboard. You can also use them to get rid of newspapers, magazines, brochures, catalogues, phone directories, leaflets, flyers, envelopes and wrapping paper.

Sometimes though, we end up with too much waste for our wheelie bins or green boxes.

cardboard box removal


2. Place outside with a sign saying – please take me!

There are a few different reasons someone might want to take cardboard boxes off your hands, such as for storage or packing when moving house. Btw, you might be interested in this guide to unpacking

One option of advertising cardboard boxes for anyone to take is to put them outside your house with a sign saying ‘please take me’ or ‘free’.  You’d be surprised how quickly items get picked up by strangers who have a use for them.

Top tip: Make sure you don’t put them outside on a day that it’s meant to rain because the boxes will become soggy and of no use!


Cardboard Box Removal Video

See the video plus transcript here.



3. Take boxes to your local recycing centre

If you have too many boxes for your normal paper and cardboard collection or they are too big, another way to get rid of your cardboard is to take it to your local HWRC (Household Waste Recycling Centre). Cardboard disposal at HWRC’s is free, although you might want to double-check your council’s website, as some do charge for disposal.

As long as you have the wheels to get to the tip, this is a great option for getting rid of cardboard boxes.  It’s an even better option if you have other waste to get rid of too because you can get rid of it all in one go.

For more help on HWRCs, how they work and prohibited items, here’s our council recycling centre guide.


cardboard box removal


4. Ask your removal company if they want the boxes

Your removal company might be interested in taking your empty boxes. Removal companies are often interested in cardboard boxes if they’re still in good condition because they could offer them to future customers moving house who need boxes. Obviously though, if they’re in bad condition, it’s very unlikely they’ll want to take them away for you.



5. Ask the Furniture Retailer to Remove them at Delivery

If you are having furniture delivered, the retailer may offer a recycling scheme or cardboard box removal service for the packaging.  It’s best to contact your retailer to find out if this is something they offer before delivery, or you may end up disappointed if the delivery driver refuses to take away your cardboard boxes on the day.


6. Donate the Boxes Online 

There are websites you can use to offer freebies to your neighbours.  Some examples are Freecycle, Freegle, Gumtree, Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace.  You can list items for free so that your cardboard boxes can be reused or repurposed.  Online marketplaces are a great way of connecting and finding someone in need of cardboard boxes.

neatly stacked cardboard box removal


7. Use a Licensed Waste Contractor to Remove Them

Finally, you can organise the removal and responsible disposal of cardboard boxes through a licensed waste contractor.  This is by far one of the most time-efficient options in this guide because waste contractors quite often offer same-day removal, which is a great alternative to waiting for the council’s next green box collection date. To find your cheapest cardboard recycler nearby, get in touch! 


How much for cardboard box removal from a licensed waste contractor?

Licensed waste contractors typcially charge £20-£80 for the equaivalent of a car boot load of cardboard waste. Price varies depending on the size of the collection, what else is include in it, and how quickly you need the waste removed.  For more information with lots of example pictures and prices read our cardboard waste collection guide



8. Frequently asked questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions about cardboard box removal. 


Can you leave cardboard boxes out for recycling?

Yes, cardboard is widely recycled by councils. As long as your waste isn’t blocking pavements or otherwise causing an obstruction, you can leave it out next to a full wheelie bin/ cardboard collection box for binmen. Make sure you only put it out the night before/ morning of collection. 


Are cardboard boxes compostable?

Yes, most types of cardboard are compostable! As a general rule, try and avoid putting shiny cardboard (and paper) in your compost as the shine is sometimes made from a plastic material. Matt cardboard (most types) is great for compost. Remember to remove any plastic tape.


Can you get money for cardboard?

Yes, you can sell your cardboard. However, this is only really worth it for businesses with a lot of cardboard. As an individual, you’re unlikely to have enough – recycling companies that buy cardboard usually have a minimum collection volume. For larger amounts of cardboard, we advise that you use a baler. This saves time for the recycling companies who will likely pay you more because of this.


Can I recycle cardboard at Sainsbury’s/ Asda/ Tesco’s?

Yes, but only some supermarkets and at selected stores. You’ll need to check whether your closest store has recycling facilities. 

Use Recycle now to find out where to recycle your cardboard. Enter cardboard and then your postcode to find the nearest centres and recycling points. 


More questions?

If you have any more questions about cardboard recycling, why not drop us a message at [email protected]. We’d be happy to help. Thanks for reading!


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