What to do with Cyber Monday Boxes, Packaging and E-Waste

Opened packages

If the thought of shopping on Black Friday is less than appealing to you, you’re likely planning to take advantage of the deals on Cyber Monday – which falls on December 2 this year. It’s the best of both worlds – incredible deals without the long, crazy lines and a lot of free shipping offers. And, let’s be honest, most of us like shopping from the comfort of our own homes. In 2018, consumers shelled out almost $8 billion on Cyber Monday¹.

Online shopping is great because you click, buy and get your stuff delivered right to your front door. The downside? The packaging – cardboard boxes and other packing materials used to protect your items. This year UPS is expecting to double its daily shipping average of 20 million packages per day during the holiday season². And, with a 25% increase in household waste during the holidays, it’s important for all of us to consistently recycle these materials to keep our landfills from piling up too quickly. Where to start?.

What to recycle: Basically, the only thing recyclable from most packages is the cardboard box itself. Make sure to break down the box so you’ll have more room in your recycle bin. You get bonus points for removing the tape – which is not recyclable. You could also save your boxes for returns or for shipping your own packages.

What to reuse or toss: Packages come with a lot of bubble wrap, plastic air bags, cellophane wrapping and foam peanuts to keep your items safe during transport. However, none of these materials can go in your recycle bin. The best thing to do? Reuse them for your own holiday shipping needs. You can also share them with others who are shipping packages, or maybe your company mailroom can reuse them. If none of those are viable options, then these items go in your waste bin.

Watch this video for more on recycling cardboard:

When the cardboard piles up...


E-waste recycling: TVs, laptops, cell phones and more! Cyber Monday offers a plethora of deals on everything, especially technology. So, once your new gadget arrives, here’s what to do with your old electronics:

  • Drop it at a local collection event or electronics retailer: Many local Republic Services facilities collect e-waste throughout the year, especially in the spring and fall – check RepublicServices.com/shop for options. You also can search Earth911 or Call2Recycle to find an e-waste drop-off site near you. In addition, some large electronics retailers will recycle your old gadgets for free.
  • Donate: Many local charities can make good use of working devices. National programs like Cell Phones for Soldiers and the 1Million Project can repurpose your old device and help others. It’s a win-win!
  • Mail-back recycling: No time to drop it somewhere? You can safely dispose of some types of old electronics through Republic Services’ Electronics Recycling Mail-Back Program. Simply order a prepaid box, fill it up, and mail your electronics back to Republic Services.

1. https://blackfriday.com/news/cyber-monday-predictions; https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/27/cyber-monday-sales-break-record-a-record-7point9-billion-spent-online.html
2. https://pressroom.ups.com/pressroom/ContentDetailsViewer.page?ConceptType=PressReleases&id=1568030066733-734