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

How to dispose of cardboard boxes

15 October 2021

6 ways to dispose of cardboard boxes

Are you after cardboard box removal? You’re in the right place! This guide has the seven best ways to dispose of cardboard boxes and the great part is, most of them are free! The 6 ways to get rid of cardboard boxes are:

  1. Cardboard box wheelie bin disposal
  2. Donate – 3 ways
  3. Ask your removal company 
  4. Retailer delivery takeback
  5. Recycling centres
  6. Man & van cardboard box collection

We also talk about:


1. Put cardboard boxes in your wheelie bins

It might seem really obvious but don’t forget you can put cardboard boxes in your wheelie bin! You should have a wheelie bin just for cardboard and paper recycling – don’t put it in your general and mixed waste one. Flatten and cut up the boxes to save some space. 

Could the boxes be used again? Avoid sending perfectly good ones for disposal by reading the reuse options below.



2. Donate for reuse

Instead of throwing away, consider these reuse options for your cardboard boxes. Note that they should be in genuinely good condition, which means no damp, rips, mould etc.

    1. Ask your neighbours. See if anybody needs boxes, or put them outside the front door with a note!
    2. Local charities. Call to see if your local charities could do with any cardboard boxes.
    3. Advertise on social media. Use sites like Freecycle, Freegle, Facebook marketplace, Gumtree or the LoveJunk marketplace to advertise to nearby people online.



3. Ask your removal company if they want the boxes

Moving house? If you used a removal company to move, you could offer the cardboard boxes to them for future jobs. This is a very easy solution if the boxes are still in good, usable condition. If they were damaged during the move however, it’s unlikely the removal company will want to take them.


4. Retailer delivery takeback

If you’re having something big delivered (like furniture) the retailer may offer a recycling scheme or take back any packaging on delivery. It’s best to check before delivery by looking on the retailer’s website or getting in touch. You may end up disappointed on the day if the delivery driver refuses to take the boxes!


5. Take cardboard boxes to the recycling centre

Assuming your cardboard boxes aren’t fit for reuse and you’ve got too much for your wheelie bins, consider using the local recycling centre. Sometimes called Civic Amenity sites, HWRCs (household waste recycling centres) or just the tip. 

Council sites don’t charge to dispose of cardboard boxes. If you can get it all in your car, this is a good, cheap option. But we recommend double checking your council website because rules can vary by site.


6. Pay a man & van waste collector 

Finally, you can hire a licensed waste collector to remove your old cardboard boxes. You pay a waste carrier to pick up and dispose of it for you. This is by far one of the fastest solutions because you can usually organise collection in a couple of days, if not on the same day. 

It’s important to make sure the waste carrier you hire has a license from the Environment Agency. Unfortunately, it’s quite common in the industry for cowboy collectors to charge a small fee and then fly tip the waste.

The easiest way to find a local, fully licensed and insured collector for cardboard box removal is to use the LoveJunk marketplace.



How much does cardboard removal cost?

Expect to pay between £20-80 for cardboard box removal. Bear in mind, however, that the exact price depends on how much cardboard you have, the urgency of the collection and whether there is any other waste with it.

For the most up-to-date cardboard removal prices, see LoveJunk’s Rubbish Removal Prices comparison tool. Below are some examples.


Example cardboard box removal prices

Cardboard boxes, £35

Packaging, £50

Cardboard disposal, £45

Cardboard & household rubbish, £55

Bin bags & card £70

Old cardboard, £40


How to save money on cardboard box removal

There are a few different ways you can keep your collection costs down:

  • Keep the boxes dry – wet cardboard is heavier than dry and can be a pain to collect because it can often become crumbly when wet. Collectors charge more if they have to spend more time loading.
  • Flatten cardboard boxes down – this will save the collector time when loading and won’t take up as much room in their van. Generally the more space taken up, the more you pay.
  • Separate the boxes from plastic, polystyrene and any other general waste. Cardboard is much cheaper to dispose of for collectors than general waste because it is so recyclable. So splitting it out for them in advance will save them time and money.
  • Place all your cardboard boxes outside so they’re quick and easy to collect. Again this is all about making the job as fast as possible for the collector because time equals money!


Frequently asked questions

Find answers to some FAQs about cardboard:


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 boxes 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. 


Finally, thanks for reading!

We hope you found our article about how to dispose of cardboard boxes useful. For further reading, take a look at our How to Dispose of Rubbish guide, the ultimate rubbish clearance resource.


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