Cardboard Baling Guide: Using a Heavy-Duty Cardboard Baler

cardboard bale


A Cardboard Baling Comprehensive Guide: Baling Beyond Corrugated


Cardboard Baling: What You Need to Know

If you’re handling large amounts of cardboard, then you know how overwhelming it can be to manage all that waste. That’s where cardboard baling comes into play. It’s a process that involves compressing cardboard into bales, which can be easily transported, stored, and recycled.

The Benefits of Cardboard Baling

One of the most significant advantages of cardboard baling is that it helps reduce waste and promotes sustainability. By baling your cardboard, you can send more material for recycling than if they were just loose pieces in a dumpster. Additionally, since cardboard is bulky and takes up a lot of space, compressing it into bales, you’ll free up more space at your facility.

Another benefit is cost savings; since recycling companies will pay for the cardboard by weight, denser bales will earn you more money. Also, hauling fewer loads means lower transportation costs.

What Types of Cardboard Can Be Baled?

Most types of cardboard can be compressed into bales. The most commonly used type is corrugated cardboard which makes up most shipping boxes and packaging materials. However, different types require different handling methods due to their properties or potential contaminants.

Other types include paperboard, which is thinner and less durable than corrugated cardboard but still sturdy enough for some applications such as cereal boxes or shoeboxes; chipboard which is thicker than paperboard but less durable than fluted cardboard and usually used for rigid product packaging such as soap boxes or notepads; specialty cardboards such as waxed or laminated ones that require special care due to their potential contaminants; fiberboard which has medium durability compared to other types and often used for furniture backing or cabinet panels; box board which is similar to paperboard but sturdier and often used for food packaging. Knowing the different types of cardboard that can be baled will help you better sort and prepare your waste for recycling.


Corrugated Cardboard: The Workhorse of Cardboard Baling

Corrugated cardboard is the most commonly baled type due to its versatility, durability, and abundance. It comprises three layers – an inside liner, an outside liner, and a fluted layer in the middle.

This design provides strength and cushioning for various products during shipping and storage. Corrugated cardboard is used for multiple applications, from packing boxes to pizza boxes, displays, and signage.

Several grades of corrugated cardboard available in the market vary depending on their strength or thickness. The most common grades are single-wall corrugated board (SWCB), double-wall corrugated board (DWCB), and triple-wall corrugated board (TWCB).

SWCB is commonly used for packaging lightweight items, while DWCB is suitable for heavier items like appliances or electronics. TWCB offers superior strength and protection and is generally used for heavy-duty applications such as exporting fragile goods overseas.

Baling corrugated cardboard helps reduce its volume by compacting it into dense blocks that somebody can easily transport to recycling facilities. By recycling this material instead of sending it to landfills, we can conserve resources, reduce waste disposal costs, and help minimize our environmental impact.

Paperboard: The Versatile Cardboard

Paperboard is a versatile type of cardboard commonly used to make boxes, cartons, and packaging materials. It has a smooth surface and can come in various thicknesses and grades, depending on its intended use.

Paperboard is also an excellent candidate for baling, just like corrugated cardboard. It’s because paperboard has high-quality fibers that give it robustness while maintaining its flexibility.

This property makes it easy to shape into different forms, making it perfect for various packaging purposes. There are different grades of paperboard based on their thickness and the type of fibers used to make them.

For instance, solid bleached sulfate (SBS) paperboard is made from virgin wood fibers and has a white surface that can be printed or coated. On the other hand, clay-coated newsback (CCNB) paperboard is made from recycled fibers with a clay coating on one side to enhance printability.

Paperboards are highly versatile types of cardboard frequently used in different industries for diverse purposes. They also have exceptional qualities that make them suitable for baling along with corrugated cardboard and other types of cardboard we will discuss later in this article.

Chipboard: Not Your Average Cardboard

Chipboard is a type of cardboard different from corrugated cardboard and paperboard. It’s made from recycled products like Kraft paper or newsprint and is often used for packaging, product displays, puzzles, and even book covers.

Unlike corrugated cardboard, which has a wavy inner layer that provides structural strength, chipboard comprises layers of paper pulp that are pressed together to create a dense, flat paperboard. This makes it more rigid than paperboard but less durable than corrugated cardboard.

There are several grades of chipboard available in the market. The most common are lightweight (LWC), medium-weight (MWC), and heavyweight (HWC).

LWC chipboard is thin and flexible, while HWC is thicker and sturdier. MWC lies somewhere in between.

One important thing to remember when baling chipboards is to ensure they’re free from contaminants like plastic, metal, or food residues. That’s because the presence of these items can damage the recycling equipment during processing.


corrugated cardboard stack


Specialty Cardboards: The Unique Challenges They Pose

Cardboard baling is a highly efficient and eco-friendly process but isn’t effortless. One of the biggest challenges is dealing with specialty cardboard.

These cardboards have unique properties that make them unsuitable for standard cardboard baling methods. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common types of specialty cardboard and what makes them so challenging.

Waxed Cardboard

Waxed cardboard is precisely what it sounds like – cardboard treated with a layer of wax to make it resistant to moisture and grease. This makes it ideal for use in food packaging and other applications where a high level of protection is required.

However, the wax coating also makes it difficult to recycle or bale. Trying to bale waxed cardboard can cause problems with your baler’s hydraulic system and contaminate other materials in the same batch.

Coated Cardboard

Coated cardboard is another specialty cardboard that poses challenges regarding recycling or baling. The coating can take many forms – from a layer of plastic film to a thin sheet of foil or metal – but all coatings share one thing: they prevent the cardboard from breaking down naturally in landfill sites. When you try to bale coated cardboard, you risk damaging your baler’s blades and rollers due to the added thickness and rigidity.

Laminated Cardboard

Lamination involves bonding two or more layers of material together using heat or adhesive. Laminated cardboard is often used in high-end packaging applications because of its superior strength and durability compared to regular cardboard. However, laminating also makes recycling or baling difficult, as the adhesive can gum up your baler’s machinery and lead to costly repairs.

Printed Cardboard

We have printed cardboard – cardboard printed with ink or other decorative materials. While printing isn’t inherently problematic, it can cause concern if the ink contains heavy metals or other harmful substances.

Furthermore, printed cardboard can be difficult to sort and bale due to the added weight and thickness of the ink. Specialty cardboards present unique challenges when it comes to recycling or baling.

If you’re handling waxed, coated, laminated or printed cardboard carefully will protect the environment while keeping your business operating efficiently. By being mindful of what could contaminate other materials or damage machinery when handling this type of waste material you’ll help safeguard its fate and keep operations moving along smoothly.

Other Types of Cardboard


Fiberboard, particleboard, or chipboard is made from wood fibers and resin. It’s often used in furniture manufacturing or as a building material for interior walls.

Fiberboard can be baled, but it’s less common than corrugated cardboard or paperboard due to its weight and density. However, some recycling facilities may accept fiberboard if it’s free of any contamination or other materials.


Boxboard, also known as carton board or folding box board, is a paperboard commonly used in packaging applications such as cereal boxes, shoe boxes, and paper cups. Boxboards are thinner and lighter than corrugated cardboard and unsuitable for heavy-duty packaging. Boxboards can be baled alongside corrugated cardboard and paperboard since they’re made from similar materials.

While corrugated cardboard and paperboard are the most commonly baled types due to their widespread usage in packaging industries, other types of cardboard, such as fiberboards and boxboards, can also be baled if necessary.

To maximize the effectiveness of recycling efforts, sorting different types of cardboard correctly before balancing them together is vital. Recyclers should always follow best practices when handling specialty cardboards like waxed or laminated cards since they require special handling techniques to avoid contamination during recycling.


Cardboard baling is an excellent way to manage large amounts of cardboard waste businesses and individuals generate. Properly sorting and baling cardboard can reduce waste, save space, and even earn money through recycling programs. Corrugated cardboard is the most commonly baled type due to its versatility and wide usage.

However, paperboard and chipboard are also suitable for baling. It’s important to note that specialty cardboard, such as waxed, coated, laminated, or printed cardboard, requires special handling when baled.

While other types of cardboard are available in the market, such as fiberboard or boxboard, they are less common than others. Somebody can sell properly sorted and baled cardboard to paper mills for recycling.

As a result, it reduces the need for raw materials for new products and saves trees from being cut down unnecessarily. Baling also conserves valuable landfill space, already limited in many areas worldwide.

In addition to the environmental benefits mentioned above, recycling programs create jobs in local communities, helping stimulate economies on a local level. : By taking the time to sort out different types of cardboard before baling them together correctly, businesses can help themselves by saving costs on waste removal fees while contributing positively towards environmental conservation efforts at a large scale along with supporting their local economies! 


FAQ: Cardboard Baler Machines

Q1: What is a cardboard baler machine?

A: A cardboard baler is a machine used in recycling operations to compress used cardboard into compact, easy-to-handle bales. This process reduces the storage space required for large volumes of cardboard waste and makes transportation easier.

Q2: What are the types of cardboard balers?

A: There are two main types of cardboard balers: vertical and horizontal. Vertical cardboard balers are compact, ideal for locations with limited space. Horizontal balers, on the other hand, are capable of handling high volumes of cardboard and are commonly used in larger industrial and manufacturing facilities.

Q3: How does a cardboard baler work?

A: The user will fill the chamber of the baler with cardboard or plastic, including large and bulky cardboard boxes. Once the door is closed, the machine uses hydraulic pressure to compress the materials into a dense bale during a press cycle. Once compressed, the bale is then strapped and ejected from the machine.

Q4: What is the difference between new and used cardboard balers?

A: The primary difference is cost and condition. While used balers can be more affordable, they may have more wear and tear and might not have the latest safety and efficiency features found in new models. However, both new and used cardboard balers can effectively compress cardboard waste into manageable bales.

Q5: Who are the main manufacturers of cardboard balers?

A: There are numerous manufacturers of cardboard balers worldwide. Bramidan and B20 are well-known for producing reliable, heavy-duty balers. These manufacturers offer a full line of balers, catering to various needs and volumes of recycling operations.

Q6: How much does a cardboard baler cost?

A: The cost of a cardboard baler can vary widely based on the model, whether it’s new or used, the capacity of the machine, and its condition. It’s best to contact the manufacturer or a dealer directly for accurate pricing.

Q7: How much does a cardboard bale weigh?

A: The weight of a cardboard bale depends on the size and model of the baler, the density of the bale, and the type of cardboard being baled. However, a standard bale from a vertical baler might weigh anywhere from 200 to 600 pounds.

Q8: Who typically uses cardboard balers?

A: Cardboard balers are used by a variety of businesses that deal with large amounts of cardboard waste. This includes big-box stores, retail shops, distribution centers, supermarkets, and manufacturing facilities. They are also used in recycling centers and paper mills.

Q9: How do you operate a cardboard baler safely?

A: To operate a cardboard baler safely, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves filling the chamber manually or automatically, ensuring the door is securely closed before starting the compression cycle, and only removing the bale once the machine has finished its cycle.

Q10: Can a cardboard baler be used for other materials?

A: Yes, many cardboard balers can also be used for other waste materials such as shrink wrap, corrugate (OCC), and certain types of plastic. Always consult the baler’s manual or the manufacturer to ensure that the baler is suitable for the materials you want to bale.


Bonus Material

***Here are 3 extra sources on the aforementioned material that was in this article:

  1. Cornell Waste Management Institute: This site, managed by Cornell University, offers a plethora of information about waste management, including best practices, issues with different types of waste, and information on recycling processes. It might have information related to cardboard baling and the recycling process of cardboard.
  2. The University of Southern Indiana – Recycling Guide: This page provides guidelines for recycling solid waste, including different types of cardboard. It explains the process and benefits of recycling and could provide useful information about cardboard baling.
  3. The Balance Small Business – Baler in Recycling: This article gives a good overview of the role of a baler in recycling. While not from an educational institution, it’s from a reputable business-focused website and can provide some context and additional information about the importance and use of balers in recycling processes, including cardboard baling.

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