After all the efforts you have invested in finding cardboard boxes to pack up and transport your things, it won’t make much sense to just throw them away without considering some good ways to dispose of used moving boxes after your house move is already a fact.
Even if you managed to get your moving boxes for free (it wasn’t that easy, was it?) prior to packing up your home, choosing the laziest option to get rid of your boxes – dumping them in the nearest thrash bin – is viewed as a big waste. And, if you had to pay good money for them, then the waste of throwing away your versatile cardboard containers is even bigger.
Do you know what better options you have to deal with your empty cardboard boxes in a timely and environmentally-friendly manner? Learn how to recycle moving boxes, and get a better understanding why recycling cardboard boxes will prove to be beneficial to you, your circle of friends, and your community in general. Get familiar with the places to recycle your moving boxes.
Why won’t you just keep your cardboard boxes?
The moment you initiate the task of unpacking the recently delivered moving containers, one by one, you’ll soon find out that it’s a bit of a struggle to keep all the empty cardboard boxes due to lack of sufficient space. Most of the time, it comes down to making quick decisions about each one as soon as you’ve emptied its contents. This strategy will help you keep things organized by preventing the accumulation of alarming amounts of cardboard even before the unpacking process has reached its midway point.
Recycling cardboard boxes is about extending their life cycle by choosing to re-use, re-purpose, give away, or even sell them. As mentioned above, any of these recycling options is better than just abandoning the containers by the curb, waiting for the trash collecting company to do its job. Keep in mind that you may not be allowed to do just that in certain cities or in specific states, so you’d better ask about the regulations about curbside pick-up of household waste in your area before opting for the easiest and quickest way to get rid of cardboard boxes.
Before you decide to part with the King of all packing supplies that made your house move possible, think about whether you’ll actually be doing yourself a favor by discarding their enhanced versatility.
- Reuse for moving. You never know what might happen tomorrow – even if you’re 100% that you won’t be moving house any time soon, it can be a mistake not to keep a decent number of boxes that will easily survive another residential move or two. Set aside the ones still in excellent condition, break them apart carefully, flatten them and store them in a place that is dry and has good circulation of air.
- Reuse for storing. It’s no secret that cardboard boxes are very good for storage and organization of household items of all sorts. Fill some containers with items you won’t need for the time being, tape them well and label them appropriately. Make sure the storage area where you plan to place those storage boxes, usually a basement or a garage, is dry because water is the worst enemy of cardboard.
- Re-purpose. Sometimes it takes a bit of imagination to re-purpose good packing boxes for home use. If you have small kids, it’s amazing how much creative fun cardboard containers can offer both to your little angels and to you as a parent – cardboard castles, robots, puzzles, you name it. With enough time and efforts, an entire cardboard village can be built to speed up the post acclimatization period through hours of play and laughter.
See also: How to unpack quickly after moving house
How to recycle moving boxes
If you’ve made an informed decision not to keep some or all of the cardboard containers that have helped you move house, then it’s time to recycle them. Take advantage of one of the following good excellent ways to recycle moving boxes:
Give away your boxes
What better way to dispose of your unwanted cardboard boxes than to give them away to friends, colleagues or even strangers who will actually put them to good use once more?
- Friends. Whenever you meet your pals in person, tell them you have a good number of cardboard boxes to spare. Also, a brief Facebook or Twitter post can also do a good job in spreading the news around your circle of friends.
- Colleagues. It’s super easy to announce to the people you work with that you have just moved house and you’re willing to give away good packing boxes just for the asking. You just never know, do you?
- Strangers. There are a number of popular websites where you can list that you’re offering free moving boxes. Be sure to check out these sites: Craigslist, Freecycle, BoxCycle, U-Haul Box Exchange.
- Charitable organizations. Charities are always on the lookout for all kinds of unused or little used donations. Each charitable organization has their needs, including storage needs, so your moving containers may find a new good home. Contact some charities in your area and see if they will want your excess cardboard boxes.
Sell your boxes
There’s always the option of making a small profit out of your no longer needed containers, that is to recycle cardboard boxes for money. This option could cost you a considerable amount of time and efforts so it’s hard to predict whether it’ll be worth it in the end. Still, if you’re willing to try to pocket some cash, here are a few good places to start: Craigslist, BoxCycle, eBay, local newspaper ads.
Another interesting choice is to check whether any of the local moving companies near you might be interested in purchasing some of the boxes you have, especially the ones that still look like brand new. Remember that some of the containers made out of thick cardboard can survive up to 3-4 house moves.
Recycle your moving boxes
Ultimately, you will need to recycle the cardboard boxes that have been damaged during the moving process – partially or completely torn up, broken, worn out or stained.
- Recycling bins. Most cities offer to occupants of apartment complexes special recycling bins for recyclable materials. Sometimes, the receptacle for paper is the one for thick cardboard as well, bit that is not always the case. If there is no such recycling bin near the place where you live, take a look around the neighborhood for such – the chances are you will find one not far from your home.
- Recycling centers. Contact the recycling centers in your area and ask them if they have any specific requirements about accepting cardboard for recycling. Some recyclers require that all the boxes be flattened out, stacked and shaped into a pre-set size while others will refuse cardboard boxes with tape or staples. Some recycling stations may even require you to have a minimum number of boxes in order to qualify for a pick-up service. The website Earth911 is an excellent starting point to help you find a recycling center near your place.
- Moving companies. If you’re not sure how to recycle the cardboard boxes you have, or any of the packaging materials left after you’ve taken care of the unpacking job, then it’s a good idea to call up the movers you used and ask them for advice. Most moving companies will offer the additional service of removing no longer needed packaging materials so that you won’t have to worry about how to recycle cardboard boxes by yourself.
Read also: What to do after moving into a new house