For as long as there’s been cardboard box recycling, we’ve been repeatedly warned that cardboard pizza boxes cannot be waste recycled. But all of that is about to change for pizza eaters in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, where they can now drop off used pizza boxes at special recycling points throughout the community.
The common knowledge, until recently, was that it was impossible to recycle pizza boxes as they are covered in grease and leftover cheese and can contaminate the recycling process. There was nothing to be done except to put them in the garbage and send them off to the landfill.
Fortunately for recycling efforts, some industry experts disagree with this belief and are working to include those pizza boxes with all other cardboard. The belief is that food contamination can be removed during the preparation and cleaning process – and while some grease and leftover cheese is ok, pieces of actual pizza are not. More community like Old Orchand Beach are moving to include pizza boxes in the recycling pool – if not for cardboard recycling, then for composting.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, close to thirty million tons of cardboard was discarded in 2010, with 85% being recycled.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: What popular assumptions are keeping your business, home, or community from increasing your waste recycling efforts? The recycling marketplace is constantly changing, so what was once called impossible might be reasonable and attainable today!