How much do you know about cardboard recycling?

Is it Empty. Clean. Dry.®?

Leftover food residue — like the grease and cheese on last night’s pizza box — makes that box waste rather than recycling. If cardboard is clean, break it down flat and give yourself a pat on the back! If it’s soiled, toss it. If it’s cleanable, in the case of milk and juice cartons, rinse them out before you place them in your recycling bin.

Less than a teaspoon of liquid

Is it Mixed with Other Materials?

When you get a box in the mail full of your online shopping spree items, it’s also full of other materials — bubble wrap, packing peanuts, maybe even plastic wrap. Separate out the materials. The box itself is recyclable, so break it down and put it in your recycling bin. Reuse the packing materials, or toss them in your waste container.

Oftentimes, food packaging also has mixed materials, like a bag of cereal inside a cardboard box. Finish the cereal, toss the plastic and break down the box for recycling.

Separate mixed materials

Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard you can recycle

  • Food boxes — cereal, crackers, cookies, frozen meals
  • Shipping boxes
  • Moving boxes
  • Milk and juice cartons

Cardboard you shouldn’t recycle

  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Packing peanuts and the plastic inside cardboard boxes
  • Milk and juice cartons that are not rinsed

Ready to Recycle Other Materials?

Paper Plastic Metal