This is a passion of mine.
Many years ago I needed to get rid of a giant stack of cardboard boxes.
Already a compost freak since the 70's I thought I know what to do........ So, I dug a giant hole in my front yard buried the stack....... and covered it with wood chips = no more cardboard in sight.
the very next year ( 12 months ) I could find no trace of CB..... it was all black compost ! Much faster than composting wood chips.
I used to be able to get untold truckloads of wood chips for free ( to make compost ) but so many people are doing it now that I have had to resort to composting cardboard sheets, paper and bagged leaves.
All of it is free ! None of it is wanted by most people ( even gardeners ).
So.... without tidying any of the pics up, I just headed out to the back forty and took some "as is" photos.
The first pic is of a corner of my back that no one sees......the carpet on the lower half of the pic is covering another giant stack of CB that a neighbor threw out this spring
It is hard to believe how flattened it has become. We have had little rain lately and the carpet helps to retain moisture like you wouldn't believe !
Pic # 3 shows how THIN a furniture CB box in just 2 months... it has lost all rigidity at this point and would fall apart easily if picked up......
After lifting the top sheet-- you can see that everything under that has already become compost !
( This year, I decided to put a layer of carpet UNDER my last stack of CB so that when I harvest it-- I wont be picking up a trace of nasty clay ....... this BTW does not deter red wigglers . They are top feeders and I often find them sliding between sheets......eating.......)
If a sheet of CB lays on TOP of the ground -- it could still look like a sheet of cardboard years later. In fact, I have used cardboard boxes as POTS ! ......that last all through the season without breaking or totally becoming compost !
Also ,the same goes for newspaper. I use tomato cages .
Those 'cages' also trap balled up newspaper. So instead of using any other material as mulch, balls of NP will stay intact through the season-- enough to keep weeds OUT and moisture in.
You may not be able to tell by the last pic but the TOP part of it is a foot deep compost that is from last fall that I will be harvesting soon ......then it all starts over again..... Say yes ! to cardboard !