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China Wants Your Cardboard: Extra Income in Your Pocket

Updated on April 20, 2011

The unemployed have found a nifty way to earn supplemental income to their UI paychecks, sometimes, substantially. You can thank China for that.

China, although vast, lacks forests and recycling of paper type products. These products are cardboard, phone books, catalogs and other related material. China's markets have exploded as have their population demands, hence, the need for packaging  material such as cardboard. China does make their boxes and other packaging material but there is simply not enough, hence, they come to America in search of our waste.

China is paying about $228 for each ton of cardboard found at large urban recycling locations accepting this material. Currently, in the LA area, Long Beach  and LA ports are the busiest container ports. One exporter of this material is Newport International in Orange, CA. Another is Sonoco Products of Hartsville, North Carolina. Both cannot get enough scrap to ship to China.

Single recyclers visit stores to find their waste cardboard, which is significant. They then haul it to a nearby recycling yard and can easily earn another $100 to help pay bills. Many do this all day, just like a real job. Stores like their waste cardboard to be taken away and freely give it away to those wanting it.

The ironic thing about this remains that Chinese products often return to the US in our former waste cardboard!


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      well, it pays bills. You need a pickup truck.

    • Tony L Smith profile image

      Tony L Smith 6 years ago from Macon

      who do I call? LOL No really sounds like a opportunity

    • kephrira profile image

      kephrira 6 years ago from Birmingham

      Its a strange world. I bet it takes a lot of cardboard to make a ton though - its pretty light stuff.