Cardboard...For all your sheet mulching needs! But where to get it???
-Auto Mechanics, Parts Stores, and Detailing Shops- The ones I've talked to get lots of parts shipped in big cardboard boxes with very little ink
-Agricultural Feed Stores- The best source I have found by far! The one around here gets dozens of these each week that measure about 3 feet by 4 feet with NO INK! The cardboard goes between the products they order in and the pallets (aka skids)
-Plant Nurseries and Garden Centers- Various shapes and sizes can be found at these places though they tend to be large, and they usually have little to no ink.
-Grocery Stores- Same as the feed stores, though corporate stores might not help you out if they get money for returning their cardboard
Simply call these business's up or stop by to give that personal touch. A good question to ask is if their dumpster gets emptied on the same day each week. If so come the day before or earlier on the day of pickup and you'll make the most of your trip. They usually have to pay to get rid of cardboard and are more than happy to let you rummage through their dumpsters.
Nobody in the cardboard business has been complaining about this Canadian Long-haired yet. I think we'll be competing for water before cardboard becomes an issue but maybe you're right. Around here cardboard is an untapped resource still though. I'll be the local cardboard baron in due time...
Hopefully within the decade we'll be producing our own mulch and not needing any from outside the neighborhood.
many stores crush the cardboard and it gets collected by recyclers, however, There is another place I've gotten huge amounts of plain cardboard for free. Warehouse stores (like Sam's or Costco.) There are slip sheets of cardboard between layers of products on the pallets. I find the cereal, candy and diaper sections usually provide the most available slip sheets on a quick trip through the store. I usually send the other half on the shopping run while I wheel around the store with a flat bed cart and collect the slip sheets.
I find that the slip sheets are really easy to use since you are not dealing with all the flaps and having to overlap nearly so much.
The thinner sheets and be ripped apart and run through a heavy duty paper shredder to make really good worm bedding.
I receive automotive body shop parts in large boxes and am happy to have somebody pick them up if I am not going to use it. A couple windshields comes in a 5x4x2 foot box so that is really a pretty big piece once broken down. So don't overlook body shops.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.
I go to appliance warehouses. refrigerator boxes are large and often double thickness with little ink on them. there are generally some stickers to deal with, but for the amount of cardboard, that's not such a big deal. permission ahead of time prevents awkward confrontations.
I second the post about appliance stores and would add bedding and mattress places as well. The boxes are huge, sometimes needing to be folded or cut before stuffing into a smaller vehicle. The tape and staples are minor in relation to the square footage of cardboard obtained. An additional potential yield is that these items are often also shipped in huge heavy plastic bags inside their cartons. Often these bags are cut open on one or two sides and have minimal damage otherwise. I cut them open into flat sheets and use them around the farm....frost covers, rain covers, etc. When I was living VERY frugally, I even "seamed" multiple pieces together by folding the edges of two pieces together and heat-welding them in a candle flame, so as to make up huge pieces of continuous plastic with which to cover a small greenhouse!
go to warehouses as well . Any place you might ask for cardboard or what some call slip sheets.That is what a lot of people call the flat pieces of cardboard between the product on a pallet. You can check recycler places as well.
If it gets wet at all or damp they will not rip it up ,it is just thrown away
Competition for cardboard and organic matter? We're in China and the competition is fierce! Used cardboard and newspaper here is bought and sold by weight, often at higher prices than fresh veggies! All organic matter is utilized as fuel, ash or mulch, including humanure (and I'm not talking about the composted kind). We've only been on our 10 acres a few weeks and already I've had to explain to embarrassed locals we don't want them collecting our fallen tree leaves, that they are valuable to us on the ground as mulch.