How does a cardboard baler work?

Cardboard balers work by crushing down voluminous cardboard by transforming loose boxes into bales of crushed cardboard.

Whole cardboard boxes are put straight into the baler, you close the door, and a strong pressing plate moves downwards inside the baler to compact the cardboard. It takes away the manual task of flatting boxes to make sure they fit into bins or cages. The baling machine will tell you when its ready to make a cardboard baler. You then tie the bale strapping together to secure the bale. Most cardboard balers have a bale ejection system to remove the bale from the baler. Bales can then be stacked and collected by a recycler - the cycle then continues.

What does a cardboard baler do?

A cardboard baler is a simple yet very effective piece of equipment, which is designed to help businesses from all sectors save money, space, and time on their recyclable waste. 

A cardboard baler works as a replacement to cardboard bins. Bins of any size are not effective for containing cardboard. Whole boxes take up bin space in no time and often you have to resort to flat-packing boxes to save space, but this wastes labour hours – it is a no-win situation. 

The cost of bin lifts is increasing year-on-year. With the government encouraging more domestic and workplace recycling, the taxes on landfill are rising every April. These higher charges get passed from the waste management business to its customers, so each bin lift becomes more expensive. It does not matter if a bin is only half full or overflowing, the charge is exactly the same. For a half full bin, the cost is essentially split between disposing of the cardboard and fresh air, which is clearly a total waste of money.

With a cardboard baler, these bins can be removed, and you can instantly see the savings. Baled cardboard can be neatly stacked and collected by a local recycler. Baling your carboard reduced wastes collections which means few refuse lorries having to some to your site.  Apart from the financial savings you will also significantly reduce your CO2 with fewer collections. 

Which machines are suitable for cardboard?

We have a full range of cardboard balers to suit all volumes of waste streams and industry sectors. 

These are some of our most popular small and medium size cardboard compacting machines. They take up less space than one 1100 bin and eliminate the need to break up boxes. These cardboard balers fit neatly into store rooms, courtyards or stock rooms and are conveniently located close to the source of waste. Most importantly they will save you money.

QCR 102 Cardboard Baler QCR 205 Cardboard Baler QCR 205TS Cardboard Baler QCR 450 Cardboard Baler

QCR 102 baler

Ideal for small companies

QCR 205 baler

For a steady flow of cardboard


Small baler but for larger boxes

QCR 450

Medium cardboard baler 

Floor space: 745mm x 540mm
Bale size:  520mm x 650mm x 400mm
Bale weight: 20-60kg
Floor space: 745m x 540mm
Bale size:  900mm x 660mm x 400mm
Bale weight: 40-120kg
Floor space: 745m x 540mm
Bale size:  840mm x 650mm x 400mm
Bale weight: 35-100kg
Floor space: 1100mm x 745mm
Bale size: 800mm x 950mm x 600mm
Bale weight: up to 170kg


For companies producing large volumes of cardboard, we recommend some of the cardboard machines below. These Mill size waste balers are designed to make the most of your cardboard revenue opportunities and have the potential to earn you rebates on your waste.

QCR 509 baler QCR H20 QCR V50 Mill Size baler QCR 500HZ Horizontal Baler Cardboard

QCR 509 baler

Ideal for large volumes of cardboard

QCR H20 Mill Size 

Our largest verticle Mill Size waste baler

QCR V50 Mill Size baler

Ideal for maximising material revenues


Our smallest Horizontal baler producing 500kg bales

Floor space: 1400mm x 1040mm
Bale size: 800mm x 1250mm x 800mm
Bale weight: 150-400kg
Floor space: 2037mm x 1247mm
Bale size: 1200mm x 1550mm x 750mm
Bale weight: 500-650kg
Floor space: 1985mm x 1130mm
Bale size: 1000mm x 1200mm x 800mm
Bale weight: up to 550kg
Floor space: 5695mm x 1385mm
Bale size: 750mm x 1100mm x 1300mm
Bale weight: up to 500kg


View our full range

Why utilise a cardboard baler?

All businesses want to spend as little on their overheads as possible. Installing a cardboard baler will go a long way to ensuring a minimal spend on waste. Think of a stand-alone cardboard baler as a replacement for multiple cardboard bins, which need collecting weekly if not more. By swapping cardboard bins out for a cardboard baler, this costly overhead will no longer be a problem. All cardboard can be processed through the baler, compacted and tied together to make a bale, which can then be collected by a recycler rather than a waste management company. If you are spending more than £20 per week on DMR bins, then we will probably have a cheaper solution for you. 

As well as cost savings, a cardboard baler saves businesses space and time. Swapping one or more bins for a baler will save space, especially in areas where room is tight. Most cardboard balers use the same footprint, if not less, then just one 1100 litre bin. The outdoor bin area can become roomier and tidier or if enough bins are removed, a new seating or storage area could be created in its place. As a cardboard baler can be placed virtually anywhere, it is always advised that it is located close to the waste source. This saves time taking trips to the bin area. In order to save space in cardboard bins, many businesses find themselves flat-packing the cardboard to cram as much in a bin as possible – this is not only tedious but it’s a distraction and a waste of staff time.

Lastly the green credentials of any business can be improved significantly with a cardboard baler. All cardboard waste can be recycled after baling. Bins containing loose cardboard get emptied into a high emission truck. Baling cardboard means you will have few collections so large refuse lorries on the road which can you reduce CO2 emissions by 75%.

The benefits of having a cardboard baler in your business are very strong and should be highly considered if you are currently using bins to contain waste cardboard. If you are spending more than £20 per week on DMR bins, then we will probably have a cheaper solution for you. 

Talk to the experts at QCR – we’ve got what you need to reduce your waste costs

Talk to an expert