Cardboard: Is it Worth It?

Where we live, cardboard brings about sixty dollars a ton at the recycle center. Since post-holiday dumpsters and curb-sides deliver a lot of cardboard, I will address it here.

First of all, the year-round best dumpsters to obtain cardboard are liquor store dumpsters, with Dollar Stores being a close second, although be aware that many Dollar General and Family Dollar Stores recycle their own cardboard. Although this goes without saying, I will reiterate: Do not remove cardboard from a recycle dumpster labeled “Cardboard Only.’ These dumpsters are taken to recycle and not the landfill; recycle dumpsters are not  public domain, and the items are not discarded items free for the taking. I once was confronted for diving a recycled books dumpster because I was unaware that the books were to be recycled.

Turns out that a ton of cardboard is a lot of cardboard. We casually retrieved 38 pounds of cardboard from curb-sides and only got a dollar. We then dove a long-bed dumpster at a surplus outlet that contained Broyhill furniture cardboard (big long boxes) and although we tripled our cardboard weight and got three dollars at recycle, the long boxes were bulky in the bed of our reconstructed 1995 Dodge Ram 3/4-ton white-trash redneck pick-up truck. Since the large, bulky boxes did not stack terribly well, we had to weight them down with a salvaged garbage disposal (scrap metal at recycle) and a wood pallet.

If you are thinking about big money and you are driving a car, you are most likely wasting your time, especially with fuel being three dollars a gallon. However, if you have a pickup truck  and you wish to pursue clean, low-maintenance dumpster diving, cardboard may be they way to go.

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