Posts Tagged ‘corrugated’

Can I Recycle a Pizza Box?

November 1st, 2010 3 comments

Issue at Hand: Over 1 billion pizzas are delivered every year, while over 11.5 million pizzas are sold every day in this country.

So Can We Recycle Pizza Boxes or Not?

The problem with recycling pizza boxes is the food, cheese and grease that both sticks to the insides of the cardboard box and the oils that permeate the fibers of the paper cardboard. In a nutshell, fiber in food is fine, but food on fiber that is due to be recycled is not! Paper fibers in the recycling bin are actually not recyclable if they have any food contamination on them.

Many recyclers will opt to take a pizza box that is still relatively clean, meaning very minimal or no grease stains at all. If cheese from the pizza has gotten stuck to the box lid, but the bottom of the box is still clean, then consider going the extra little bit of distance, removing the top half, and still recycling the bottom, clean half. Then, you can either discard the dirty box top in the trash, or consider composting it. For boxes with pizza crumbs and maybe a little bit of tomato sauce, consider wiping the insides clean and then recycling it.

What Are the Reasons Behind Not Recycling Pizza Boxes?

Remember, as long as pizza boxes are entirely clean and not soaked with cheese, grease or oils, they can be recycled along with other paper and cardboard. When the pizza boxes become overly saturated with oil and grease, the basic process of recycling fibrous materials is rendered useless, as the paper fibers themselves cannot be separated from the grease and oils.

What you may not know is that paper products are recycled in a process that employs water to do the dirty work. The oil and grease found in paper containers like pizza boxes or other food cartons gets into the water mixture during the recycling process and basically ruins the batch being worked on. As the oil separates and refuses to mix with the water, it gets in the way when in later stages, the mashed up mixture of paper and cardboard needs to be reformed to make recycled paper products.

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Categories: materials, recycle Tags: ,

The Un-Recyclables: Things You Should Keep Out of the Recycling Bin

September 29th, 2009 1 comment

Recycling is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to be green. But that doesn’t mean you can recycle everything. You might know this, if you’ve ever received a note on your empty bin after a pickup day issuing a “no-no” on a certain item you included in your recyclables. But even if you haven’t, chances are you might be including some item in your batch that isn’t eligible for your local recycling efforts. So what’s the big deal?

Well, it’s certainly not the biggest threat to the ecosystem to include too many supposed recyclables—but it does cause a hassle for your friendly neighborhood recycling team. Making them sort through your reusable disposables costs them precious time—and hence, less recycling gets done.

Oils or grease on any paper or corrugated (i.e., cardboard) will generally make the item non-recyclable. The used pizza box is a great example. Something else to keep in mind are the bottle caps on plastic bottles. Many times these are also not recyclable–please check with your local recycling authority to confirm.

Check out the full article here:

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: , ,