I recently moved house. Because of this, I have huge amounts of cardboard boxes. An amount that would likely fill our bin twice over. Which I can't do, because we have other rubbish.

  • I need to have them gone in the next 3 weeks, and so putting them in the rubbish a few at a time, may not be fast enough.
  • They are generally extremely damaged by the unpacking, so I can't give them away (they were 3rd hand to begin with).
  • Taking them to the tip would be over an hours drive, and cost a surprising amount of money.

Last time this occurred, I burned them: I dug a big hole, pulled off all the plastic tape, and over about 3 hours put the boxes in and set them alight. Then I buried all the ashes. That is not an option at the new house, as there is no sand to dig in.

Right now I am considering drenching them in water, and them compacting them wet mass, and putting that in the bin. I think the water would cause the interior corrugation to crumple, so they would be easier to compact.

  • 4
    You could always consider making a box fort
    – MrPhooky
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 14:10
  • 5
    Post an ad on KiJiji ... "Free cardboard boxes for moving" .. watch the mobs show up :)
    – Ditto
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 15:42
  • I was gonna suggest leaving them outside- in the UK, that would mean they'd be damp enough after a couple of days and nights at this time of year to crumple up easily and stuff into rubbish bags, but maybe where you are, you might actually need to saturate them if your climate's not chilly/damp. Getting them damp does indeed make them easier to deal with.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 15:59
  • 2
    Is calling the trash company and scheduling a special pickup not an option in Perth? In the US, that's always been the answer, and the price ranges from "free along with your standard pickup" to at most $10 extra (though they've only ever made me pay for large items, like a couch). The only caveat is that they typically make you break it down and tie the bundles together with twine.
    – Sterno
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 19:06
  • In perth (Australia) it varies from local goverment area to local goverment area. In some there is "bulk" pick up several times a year, in others there is the option to call for a special pick up onces a year, and in others there are free tip passes (that are sent to property owners, no to tenants). I have no idea which catagory(/catagoies) my new area fits in. Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 1:47

9 Answers 9


I didn't see this option already, but they do make a nice backyard fire. I had a hundred cardboard boxes and it was really overwhelming trying to figure out what to do with them. The burn up pretty quick and I put wood over them so they wouldn't blow away.


I know 3 ways of doing it:

  1. Recycle them. I'm sure the recycling company could find a good use for them

  2. Make an obstacle course for your kids in the backyard (or yourself if you don't have kids)

  3. Use them as sleds (if you get snow)

  • Neither the 2nd nor the 3rd will removed them from my property. After doing either, I will still need to get rid of them. Recycling in Australia is done by the city goverment, and I get only one finite pick up per 2 weeks. Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 9:19

It could be different locations have different rules for these things, but the last time we moved, I turned the biggest boxes into the garbage bins for the other boxes, and then stuffed all the other boxes into those. I put them out by the curve on garbage day, and they were gone the next day.


Shred them and then wet them down. Once they dry if you put them in a mold(there will be shapes) or just leave them there they will be more manageable.

Other ideas

For gardeners, putting down the cardboard and them putting a thin layer of dirt on top, makes weeds stay away for a while.

Also, cardboard mulch can be made.

Shredding the cardboard and then adding it underground will make your soil richer, when it breaks down.

Just some ideas, for cardboard fun.

  • I believe it is too carbon-rich to be a great idea to put in (low nitrogen) soil. Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 14:55

Put the outside your house, with a sign that says Free boxes, Please take:

enter image description here

Watch out for rain, or there won't be any more boxes...

  • As I said I the question "They are generally fairly damaged by the unpacking, so I can't give them away." They are all already second hand from supermarkets and other stores. Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 9:20
  • 2
    That's no reason not to give them away. People can duct tape them up - it's not like they're being sold.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 12:52

Obviously if you put the boxes into the trash, they will take up a lot of space due to their shape. There will be a lot of wasted empty space in the trash since nothing is inside the boxes.

So just tear up the boxes into a lot of flat pieces. Each box has 6 sides, so you'll want to tear up each box into at least 6 pieces. Once you have torn up the boxes into flat pieces, you can fit a lot more of those pieces into the trash, and there won't be any wasted space in the trash.


Sell them (for chocolate)

Just put a notice somewhere, because everyone always needs boxes for moving. They'll probably come to pick them up as well.

btw: Selling for a fun cost works remarkably better then putting a 'For Free' ad.


You can use them as makeshift bins to put boxes and other trash until you finally be able to throw them out.


Recycle them, there are recycling centers everywhere. I just recently moved also and the water and garbage bill is combined and they brought out a 30 gallon recycling can for plastic and paper.

  • 1
    Citation needed for "There are recycling centered everywhere". Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 9:11
  • Recycling them has already been given as an answer. Not everywhere has recycling cans as you describe and you can't put cardboard in a paper recycling bin.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 11:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.