How can I reuse or recycle … lots of cardboard tubes?

I’ve had an email from Andrew Urban:

I have something that needs to be recycle and actually is recyclable but maybe companies will charge a lot to take them.

It’s a 12″ long 3″ wide non-corrugated cardboard tube. My company uses around 3,000 a week of these tubes and we need a environmentally friendly way to dispose of them.

We have considered using a wood chipper to chop them into smaller pieces and then send them to a landfill but that will only solve our waste issue not our recycling issue.

This is probably on a lot bigger scale than most of the commenters on this site usually think about but if anyone’s got any ideas at all, post a comment below and maybe Andrew and his company will be able to scale it up and save all that landfill space.

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150 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … lots of cardboard tubes?”

  1. JR says:

    We are in search of cardboard tubing 1 1/2″ to 2″ either inside or outside diameter and lenghts of 54″ or 60″ for our vinyl we ship out.
    We reuse these between or company and others and if someone would like to help us out we could make some kind of offer to take them off you’re hands.
    Please post any comments to my email please

    Thank You

    • bill van auken says:

      In reference to cardboard tubes, I am looking for 8 foot lengths with a diameter of 1 1/2 to 2 inches and i have a business that is in dire need of these tubes. If you have them or have a way of getting them. please contact me. thanks

      Bill v. 856 813 0010

      • Dirk Schot says:


        We are a paperconverting company and converting the endreels of the printers.

        We want to sell the used cores (see Photo)

        lenght 84cm,124cm,164cm

        thickness 13mm/15mm

        insidediameter 76mm

        Is there any market for this?

        We have about 40/ton a month

        Price cores packed(see photo) ex works loaded in a (high cube) container euro 300,-/mton.

        Kind Regards,

        Dirk Schot

  2. Postal tubes says:

    I think the best thing here is to contact local companies that might use them due to the bulkiness of postal tubes.

  3. Lizzy says:

    Donate some to schools for crafts, you could also stuff them with waste paper and use them as paper logs as fuel.

  4. Asif says:


    I am looking to purchase 3″ dia cardboard cores with wall thickness of 10 to 12mm. They needs to be 16″ or longer.

    If any has these cores or can point me the right direction please get in touch.


    • Steve says:

      I have access to hundreds or maybe thousands of thick tubes that match your description of thickness but maybe a bit larger in diameter. They can be cut to any length you need. Contact me at my email address: body-work@comcast .net and we’ll discuss it.

    • Daniel Read says:

      I have these cores in large volumes. we have so many i need more than one company to remove? please get in touch.

  5. Anonymous says:

    rosy vacuum marvelling aggressors

  6. ACE says:

    We have approximately 1500 very sturdy hollow cardboard tubes per month. These are currently sent for recycling but interested in sending them for reuse. Location is Angus, Scotland

    Dimensions are:
    Height: 300 mm
    Outer Diameter: 104 mm
    Inner Diameter: 94 mm

    • Hello, we are running a childrens workshop with the local primary schools in our area and wondered if you still had your tubes available.
      We are based in Fife and can collect.


  7. costcutter carpets says:

    have large quantity of cardboard poles from centre
    of carpets sizes 1.5m-3.00m aprox have large number of these if they are of use to anybody.
    just collect them out my way for free ???

  8. J Tweed says:

    We could take about 500 per year off your hands. Where are you located?

  9. steven says:

    i have a few hundred maybe a thousand cardboard cores L= 1.2m x D 2″
    with a 2mm wall thickness….open to offers

    • alan garner says:

      Hi, i need some of these for craft stuff with kids
      do you still have them and if so where are you??

    • Colin Willby says:

      You still around with those tubes and is it an ongoing supply. i got posters to sell in them and we are Brighton way. Colin

  10. Walter says:

    We have some 250/300 wound board tubes to dispose of. All are 140 cm. long.
    The I.Dā€™s are; 30.5 cm. 24 cm., and 17 cm., with a wall thickness of 5.5-6.0 mm.
    (They are currently stored with the two smaller tubes in the 30.5 cm tube.
    Most are in mint condition however a few have slight indentations from racking

  11. Sarah Lewis says:

    For anyone with tubes (such as old carpet tubes) that they don’t need please get in contact with me. I am looking for these and would very much appreciate them! I actually came across the site whilst searching for these on Google. I live in Cardiff, but will travel to collect. I only require 5 – 10 as they are needed for a project.
    Many thanks!

  12. Sarah Lewis says:

    …. My Email address is

  13. Cat says:


    I’m looking for a cardboard tubing about 10mm thick, 15cm in diameter and around 1.5m in height to make a stand with. If you are in the London area and have one lying around that you want to dispose, can you please contact me?


  14. Angelika says:

    I have hundreds of cardboard cores that vary from 3-5 feet in length, about 20 inches in diameter, and about 3/8-in thickness. Can anybody use them, or point me in the right direction of where I can recycle them?

    • sam roberson says:

      interested in using some of your tubes to transport kayaks in, where are you based? would need about 35ft worth.

    • Anna says:


      Iam looking for cardboard tubing about 12 inch in diameter, 50 cm lentgth but can obviously cut to size from large length pieces, for a project. Newcastle/Tyneside area – can anyone help me?

    • Lee Ikola says:

      I am looking for cardboard tubes that vary from 3-5 feet in length, about 20 inches in diameter, and about 3/8-in thickness. I’m in New Hope, MN. Please email me at if you need them taken off you hands.
      Thank you.

      • Albert Lara says:

        Please contact me if you are still interested in cardboard tubes..
        Thank you,

    • Albert Lara says:


      Did you ever find someone to take your tubes? Please guide me in the right direction, as i have the same problem.

      Thank you,

  15. sam roberson says:

    Looking for cardboard tube to ship sea kayaks in. Need to be 55cm diameter and enough to make up to 11m in length (can be sections to fit together.

  16. Stephen says:


    We currently have large numbers of sturdy cardboard cores internal diameter 75mm external diameter 100 to 105mm. Varying in length from 510mm to 2050mm. Company based in Northumberland looking for regular pick ups for FOC on going recycling operation. If you are interested and can meet criteria please contact.

  17. Daryl says:

    Hello all,

    I’m a production artist and go thru rolls of paper like crazy…all day everyday. I use a 60″ printer…so my rolls consist of ( 36″, 38″, 50″ and 60″)

    The width for 38″ is as follows:
    -WIDTH: 38in
    -CORE: 3in

    The width for 36
    -WIDTH 36in
    -CORE 2in

    The width for 50
    -WIDTH 50in
    -CORE 2in

    The width for 60
    -WIDTH 60in
    -CORE 3in

    If your interested…I’ll work with yo at a low cost.


  18. Just wondering if anyone near Plymouth has a problem ridding themselves of cardboard tubes, I run a lighting company and these would be very useful indeed. We could collect from S Devon area and would take up to 500 or 50 a month regularly.. please contact me direct if you are able to help – genius discussion…

    small cardboard boxes in Plymouth as well please..6 years of trading and we’ve never bought a box!! We practice what we preach..

  19. Imogen says:


    I work for a children’s charity based in London called Kids Company and I desperately need some carboard tubes to make puppets as part of an arts therapy class with the kids. We are then using the puppets as decoration for a kids company fundraiser to raise money for the arts programme.

    I need tubes that are:

    45mm internal dia/2mm thickness of wall
    43mm internal dia/2mm thickness of wall
    41mm internal dia/2mm thickness of wall
    39mm internal dia/2mm thickness of wall

    Can anyone help??? The reason they are close together is tat they will fit together like the flower pot men puppets? Does anyone know where I can go or has any we can have? I have checked quite a few postal/cardboard tubes makers already.

    Thank you,


  20. I am looking for some cardboard tubes in order to make some roman column props for an themed event.

    Approximate dimensions:
    4 – 8ft in length
    8 – 12 inches diameter
    We are based in Newbury, Berkshire area.

    If anyone has anything like this in that they would like to donate please drop me an email at


  21. alan garner says:

    I am looking for some cardboard tubes that are 1.5 inches in diameter, 36 inches long and walls 0.45mm thick to play sword games with kids for a chrity. great fun

    in the north west

  22. mel says:

    i need a piece of cardboard tube 2′ long and 1 1/2 feet wide. i need it in the next six months or so. help please!!! it should be sturdy when placed upright on the ground, maybe 1/2 inch thick. thank yous sooo much!!

  23. richard says:

    We used several different sizes of cardboard tubes for props for vacation bible school. They made great trees , posts for fences and a shed.

  24. Darin Peacock says:

    I am 17 years old and a physics student in El Paso Texas. I have to a two person boat out of cardboard. If anyone in the area has some or want to be a sponsor please email me at
    Thank you in advance….desperate for supplies

  25. Randy says:

    We have cardboard tubes. They are 63″ in length, 3 3/8″ in diameter, and about 1/4-in thickness. I’m in San Francisco, CA. Please email me at if you need them.

  26. Danita Tennison says:

    I own a carpet installation company in Jacksonville, Fl. I have approx. 60-80 carpet poles ranging from 12′ to 15′ in length. I used to sell them to one of my suppliers for $3.00 each which has since gone out of business for recycling purposes. Please e-mail your offer and send all replies to

  27. jerry y says:

    im a recycling guy.i would love to pick up all your cardbord tubes and take them to a recycling center. i live in nash ville sure theres some recyclers near you to do the job. p.s.get paid

    • Shalako Horton says:

      jerry y my name is shalako horton i am interested in your cores contact me at my e-mail address hortonpaper@att net,or call me at 615-321-0148.thankyou

  28. christine says:

    I work for a company called OAI located in Tampa, Florida. We average 60 tubes per week-so roughly 240/month. The tubes we have come in two lengths, 16ft long or 14ft long and are roughly 12in in diameter. Each weighs about 15-20lbs and are made from a cardboard/glue mixture so they are VERY sturdy. I would absolutely LOVE if someone would be willing to take these off our hands. Please let me know if you, or someone you know would be interested.


    • M says:

      Hey, I’m looking for something like that. Do you think you could cut an 18 inch long piece off of one of those and ship it to me in Oregon? If so, how much would it cost?

  29. Andrew says:

    Hello I have access to a consistant number of cardboard tubes measuring 110mm outside diameter, 75mm inside diameter, 635mm in length. The Cardboard is 17.5mm thick.
    We are located in the Leicestershire area.
    Please contact me for any further details required.

  30. Tom Brophy says:

    I am based in the Liverpool area and am looking for 100 – 150mm diam. cardboard tubes @ 1800mm long. Please advise if available, I can collect

  31. cath says:

    Hi, my children go to a london primary school – the local council are trying to cut our lovely lollipop people. In form of protest we are going to get all the children to make lollipops – but really need cardboard tubes to make them with. Anyone got any, we’d be really grateful – around 400. maybe 75cm long x 5cm diam.

  32. Caroline says:

    I am looking for 2 card board tubes about 10 ft long and 1.5 – 2 ft in diameter for a school project. Thanks!

  33. Peter says:

    We have a quantity of cardboard cores that are about 1500mm long by 180-190mm OD 20mm wall. They are heavily made and don’t seem to break down easily. If anyone can use them, we are in SE London and you are welcome to take them away. There will be an ongoing supply of them. email

  34. Helen says:

    The company I work for has a constant supply of sturdy cardboard tubes of the following measurements:

    1445mm long x 85mm diameter x 5mm thickness

    578mm long x 45mm diameter x 4mm thickness

    510mm long x 102mm diameter x 15mm thickness

    We are looking to sell these on a regular basis for a very reasonable sum. We also have hardboard sheets for sale:

    995mm width x 1155mm length x 3mm thickness

    If anyone is interested or knows of people who would be interested please contact me on:


  35. Jeremy Laney says:

    I have several tubes free to collect:
    X5 11cm wide X 400cm long
    X20 5-7cm wide X 150cm long
    More coming in on regular basis.

  36. Shalako Horton says:

    Our company has thousands of multiple sized cores for sale. Please contact me via e-mail.Thank you for any inquiries.

  37. Shalako Horton says:

    Andrew Urban i have a solution to your problem.Contact me at my e-mail address,or call me at 615-321-0148. Thankyou!

  38. Mark Thompson says:

    I am looking for cardboard cores over 1.2m in length
    76mm inside diameter with an 8mm or above wall thickness.
    i need about 20/month

    Many thanks

  39. Mark Thompson says:

    I am looking for cardboard cores over 1.2m in length
    76mm inside diameter with an 8mm or above wall thickness.
    I need about 30/month

    Many thanks

  40. david furey says:

    hi im looking for cardboard tubes 14,26,40,54,64,76,INCHES LONG AND 3.5 INCHES WIDE i i can use 100 per week i dont mind cutting down to smaller or using 2 3foot for the 6 foot lenght lancs if possible

  41. Maria says:

    Argent :) London

    I am looking for cardboard tubes approximately 2000 x 200mm
    or 1800 x 100/150 mm for children projeckt.

    I need about 10 but each one which I can receive will be great.

    Many Thanks

  42. john lissaman says:

    Looking for cardboard tubes/carpet cores up to 2.5metres in Nottingham Derby area.
    If you have any to dispose of please email me

  43. Ewan W says:


    Looking for cardboard tubes/carpet cores up to 6ft in length.

    I am in Omagh, County Tyrone.

    If anyone has any spare, please let me know

  44. Kady says:

    that is, if you are still looking for them.

  45. Ewan says:

    Where are you based Kady?

    How thick are the tubes?


  46. Dave says:

    I’ve got hundreds of used tubes, probably 3mm or 4mm thick, 8″ diameter, varying lengths, mostly 4 feet long. I’m in Austin, TX. Please let me know if you need any. Respond here, and I’ll get back to you!

  47. Cissy says:

    Dave, You favorite school art teacher will love you forever. Also, my guess is that the local ‘vacation Bible school’ would love them too. Wish I could get them :-)

  48. Medeea says:

    Since your company uses so many weekly, I think they would make great lighter material – the ones used for fire, as an alternative to trees or coal.
    They can be stuffed with other material such as sawdust etc.
    Would make for nice display as logs :)

  49. Carley Jo says:

    Hi, my name is carley joand i go to irion coutny jr. high we are ahving our annual duct tape boat races and our team has to make the entire boat out of cardboard and duct tape. my freinds and i came up with the idea to build a raft and we cannot find any carpet tubes what so ever. please help us!

  50. James T says:

    Anyone around the preston area of lancashire need 100 or so cardboard fabric inner tubes, various sizes ranging from 5-10mm thick, 50-60″ roll length, 2-5″ diameter.

    • Fiona Miller says:

      This is a long shot!

      I realise that this thread hasn’t been in action for a while…but if any of you still need to rid yourself of a large volume of carboard tubes. I would dearly love to get my hands on them!

      It is for my final exhibition for my masters in sonic arts, I would like to make a cardboard tube surround to amplify sound.

      Many thanks


      • Joe V says:

        Hello I have tons of tube/cores. They are 4 1/2″ x 6″. Please contact me if you are interested or would know someone. I have a warehouse in Wilkes Barre Pa and would like to get them out asap. Thank You Joe V

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