Shredding Cardboard with a Leaf-Mulching Vaccuum?

A little while back I received an email from RWC follower, Troy K. He wanted to share his nifty method for shredding up egg carton cardboard.

leaf-mulcherJust wanted too pass along a very easy – and extremely quick – way to shred cardboard egg cartons. I always dread shredding but know it has to be done, so I came up with the idea of using my leaf vacuum mulcher. It’s a Worx GT mulcher and I can shred 6 dozen cartons in 30 minutes. I ran them through once, but thought they needed to be just a hair smaller, so I ran them through again and they came out perfect! Like many people I’m a single full-time parent so every minute of my time is important. I just thought you might like hearing this and thought you might pass it along.


Troy sent me a follow-up email with some additional details…

In my opinion any leaf mulcher will work, you just need to make sure the one your using has a steel rotor blade. There are a lot of leaf mulchers that use plastic – but they will tear up real quick. Also, the long hose and bag in the picture was bought separately – that one in the pic fits on top of most garbage cans up to 50 gallon. That vacuum mulcher comes with a bag attachment that has a shoulder strap on it. You can find the Worx GT at Home Depot or Lowes or go to an order it directly from the company.

I thought this was a really ingenious idea (thanks Troy for letting me share!). I don’t know if could handle corrugated cardboard (I can always dream, right?), but needless to say, a machine like this would be very valuable for fragmenting (i.e. “optimizing”) a variety of materials that could then be added to a vermicomposting system.

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    • Jessica
    • April 3, 2014

    Great trick! Wish I had one as I’ve just acquired about 20 2.5 dozon cardboard egg trays…with the egg shells still in them, LOL! I’m lucky that I have access to Benford-9000 mega-shredding machine that I am able to run corrugated cardboard through for my worms and compost bin…I don’t think it would be a good idea to run egg crates with egg goo in them through it.

    • Paul from Winnipeg
    • April 3, 2014

    That’s a great idea! Going to look at my leaf shredder and see what kind of blade it has.

  1. Thanks for the heads up about the blades! I would hate to buy one then realize I needed a steel one! haha

    • John Ski
    • April 8, 2014

    I have two methods for shredding cardboard. First I cut the box on a band saw into two inch strips. The band saw is very fast and you can cut several layers at once. Next I run the strips though a heavy duty (12 + sheet) cross cut paper shreader. I only use two ply cardboard in this type of shredder. These can be bought at costco type stores for about $99. The shredded cardboard looks really nice with this medthod. The other method I use is to run the two inch cardboard strips through a wood chipper. I chip the strips in the branch chute and could also reshred if I wanted a finer product. The advantage of the wood chipper is you can have trash can loads of bedding in a short time. The wood chipper could shred something like egg cartons as fast as you can throw them in the chute.

    • Jennifer
    • May 2, 2014

    I just soak / submerge egg cartons in warm water and then they tear into small pieces easily. it adds (warm) moisture to the pile, too.

    • Scott
    • January 3, 2015

    Hey if all else fails, try a manual guillotine; it’s great once you get into a cutting routine. Have been doing 6-7 lbs (~25 gal) per hour of corrugated cardboard and egg trays with this model

    • Mark
    • March 1, 2015

    I use a self designed cardboard grinder. See it at
    It can process 100 lbs an hour easily. Cost about $100 to make from old salvaged equipment and a weekend of labor.

    • Bentley
    • March 2, 2015

    Wow Mark – that is awesome (and a little scary – lol). Going to write a post about this! Thanks for sharing.

    • Scott
    • March 2, 2015

    Awesome. I want one. That’s a third the cost and 20 times the output of what I use: one 15-sheet guillotine prepping sheets for two 14-sheet office shredders.

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