Did you know that more than 85% of all packaged materials are shipped using cardboard? For the environmentally friendly minded individual, this makes cardboard recycling a number one priority.
Take a look around your home and you will discover that cardboard is everywhere. From cereal boxes to toy and appliance packaging, cardboard exists in the home more than any other recyclable material.
Cardboard recycling is relatively easy to manage and, of course, makes for a great contribution to the environment when it is repurposed for future uses. Imagine if we could rid America’s landfills of all that cardboard!
When it comes to cardboard recycling there are two separate kinds of cardboard. The first kind of recyclable cardboard is called corrugated. This particular kind of cardboard is similar to what you may find inside of a package that you receive in the mail. Typically used as a ‘stuffing’, this cardboard is used to insulate packaging.
The second kind of recyclable cardboard is what is known as flat cardboard. Flat cardboard is similar to what you may find in the packaging of some dry groceries. For example, a cracker or cereal box is considered flat cardboard and can be recycled with paper. Another example of flat cardboard is the boxes we all use to package our belongings when moving to a new home.
Cardboard recyclers typically request that people recycling their used cardboard break them down and flatten them out. Full or previously constructed boxes take up a great deal of space and make the transport of many boxes difficult and inefficient. They may also not fit in the cardboard recycling containers used by many municipalities.
Break down those old boxes into flat stackable pieces before taking them to a cardboard recycling center. Remember to keep an eye out for staples that may cut or scratch your hands. It is not otherwise necessary to remove staples because they will be removed during the sorting process at your local recycling center.
Believe it or not, there is non-recyclable cardboard out on the market today, so beware. Non-recyclable cardboard includes but is not limited to milk cartons, frozen food packaging, meat packing boxes, and produce boxes. The wax on these containers is used to prevent leakage and to prevent contamination but becomes a burden to the recycling process. You should, however, check your local recycling rules. As technology advances, recycling centers are beginning to be able to accept this more difficult cardboard product as well.
If you are ready to recycle your cardboard, you can use the Internet to locate local drop-offs for cardboard recycling or to discover new and creative ways to use or repurpose the non-recyclable cardboard you may have in your home. You can also simply call your locality’s trash management office to get more information.