Whether you produce a few tonnes of cardboard waste per week or thousands every year, investing into a cardboard baler is one of the best decisions that your business could ever make; especially if you find that your wheelie bins are constantly overflowing and you’re needlessly sending cardboard to landfill or for collections that return no rebates.

That’s a bold statement I know but it’s nothing short of the truth – cardboard balers make for fantastic investments if your business has the quantities of cardboard required and is seeking to improve its waste management processes. In this guide, we’ll explain why you should strongly consider investing into your cardboard waste management, discuss which types of businesses are cardboard balers best suited for and break down the benefits that you would reap from such an investment. But first, let’s very quickly recap what a baler is.

What is a baler?

A baler is a piece of waste machinery that compresses loose waste materials into high-density bales. There are various types of balers, from vertical balers that compress from above to fully automatic and semi-automatic models which tend to compress horizontally. Regardless of the baler type, they all work in a similar way – recyclable waste is loaded into the machine’s chamber, where a hydraulic ram compresses the waste, reducing its overall volume (in the case of cardboard waste, a baler can reduce its volume by up to 95%). This bale is then tied off using baler strapping or bailing wire and then ejected from the machine, ready to be placed on a pallet and stored until it is collected. 

Who is a cardboard baler best suited for?

Cardboard balers are suitable for just about any business that produces cardboard waste and wishes to take advantage of the numerous benefits that these machines can offer. At Greenbank, we stock a variety of models, from smaller vertical balers such as the Bramidan B3 model that’s ideal for retail businesses with low waste volumes, to much larger mill-size balers such as B50. There’s also a variety of semi and fully automatic balers that are best suited for larger facilities which produce high volumes of cardboard waste.

Important to note is that our balers are not only limited to cardboard waste, depending on the model, they can also bale plastic, paper, and PET bottles. 

Cardboard baler benefits 

Cardboard balers offer a plethora of benefits for your business, these include:

Save space

Cardboard balers can help you to reduce the amount of space that your waste takes up in your facility. Not only does the waste itself take up less space (often reduced by up to 95%), but because the need for bins and skips is also reduced, you require less of those on your site too.

The balers themselves do not take up much space at all; for example, vertical balers take up less space than a small hatchback. Meaning that adding one to your site is far easier than you might think.

Save time

These machines reduce the amount of time and effort that’s required for dealing with waste cardboard, thus allowing your employees to better utilise their time and focus on more important tasks. This is especially true if the baler is placed at the source of waste, further saving on your staff’s time and the overall labour that is required.

Save money

Cardboard balers can work wonders for reducing your overall waste management costs – not only will you require less wheelie bins to store your waste, but the need for collections will also be reduced, saving on transportation costs. In addition, by baling your cardboard you can begin to send it off to recycling centres instead of landfill which saves you from having to pay landfill tax.

Revenue stream

Cardboard bales are a valuable asset that you can sell to recycling centres for a handsome rebate. The price that you may expect to receive per tonne of baled cardboard varies from month to month but at the time of writing, you would expect to receive between £95 and £125 per tonne

Reduces waste contamination

Contaminated waste cannot be recycled and must be sent to landfill instead. Obviously, sending waste to landfill is not ideal and you lose the potential to earn a rebate for the material. Keeping your waste separated and baling recyclables reduces the risk of contaminating it. It also maximises the asking price of the cardboard bale as clean material is preferred over material that has been slightly contaminated.

Easier transportation

Compacted cardboard bales that have been tied off and placed on a pallet are far easier to move around than loose material.


Less cardboard waste being sent to landfill and instead being recycled helps the environment, improves your business’s sustainability practices and reduces your carbon footprint. Due to there being less collections required, carbon emissions are also reduced.

Can handle more than just cardboard

The baler machines that are used for baling cardboard are compatible with varying recyclable materials, including plastic, paper and PET bottles (depending on the model). Switching between the materials is as simple as cleaning the baler out to ensure there’s no waste contamination and then loading the new material into the machine. 

How long does it take to get my initial investment back?

This of course greatly varies on the baler model and the volume of waste that your business produces. But to give you a better idea of what you could expect, for our mill-size baler models, it takes around 18 months to get your initial investment back if you have never baled your recyclable materials before. Any money earnt after this is pure profit.

You can get a better understanding of how much you’re sent to earn by doing the below calculation:

Tonnes of cardboard waste produced x Price of baled cardboard per tonne (between £95-£125) = Estimated revenue 

Should you get a cardboard baler?

A cardboard baler makes for a great investment, not only will you benefit from lower waste management costs and an additional revenue stream, but it will also have a positive impact on your business’s sustainability ratings and carbon footprint. As the UK government pushes for net zero carbon emissions, investing into your waste management protocols is bound to set you apart from your competition and give you a competitive edge.

If you’re unsure about which type of machine would best suit your business’s needs, consider booking a free waste management audit call in which we’ll help you to better understand your waste streams and recycling processes, and provide recommendations for improving them.

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