You can sell cardboard for recycling by finding a buyer and supplying him with a product that meets his specifications. Most recycling centers and pick-up programs accept cardboard, along with other paper products. Each redemption program has its own set of rules to ensure the cardboard is fully recyclable with the processes it uses. Recycle cardboard boxes to make extra cash from something that would otherwise end up in the trash.

Things You Will Need
  • Utility knife (optional)

  • Nylon or polyester box straps (optional)

  • Transportation (optional)

Step 1.

Breakdown corrugated and single-layer cardboard boxes, so they will stack flat and take up less space during storage. Boxes with wax or plastic lining should be separated, as they are not accepted by some recycling centers. Discard the grease-stained and moldy, rotting cardboard.

Step 2.

Contact online cardboard box recycling companies, if you have a large lot of 5,000 or more boxes in good condition (see Resources). Some companies pay more for used cardboard boxes than recycling centers, because they simply resell the boxes to be reassembled and reused by movers. A company representative will contact you with an offer and to arrange pickup, if you find the offer acceptable.

Step 3.

Find recycling centers in your local area by looking in the yellow pages or searching online (see Resources). Contact the nearby locations by phone and ask for specifics about the types of cardboard they accept and how much they pay. Some curbside, pickup programs accept cardboard, but most do not pay for it.

Step 4.

Bundle stacks of flattened cardboard with box straps and load them into the back of a vehicle. Take the cardboard bundle to the recycling center, so they can be weighed and you can be compensated accordingly.


Most cardboard recycling programs do not require that you remove residual adhesive or staples from the disassembled boxes. Setting a heavy weight on a stack of flat cardboard boxes compresses them, so they take up less space during storage and transport.


Protect your hands with gloves to avoid paper cuts on the jagged edges of the used cardboard.