Recycling Paper Products

How to Recycle Corrugated Boxes

Corrugated - what we commonly call cardboard - boxes are a modern harbinger of joy! Everyone gets a little excited whenever they come home to find boxed Amazon packages, a subscription service box or something else they ordered outside their front door. Aside from ensuring safe carriage of our purchases, corrugated boxes play quite a significant role in our daily lives. Whether serving as a means of storing our memories or as a way to ship care packages to family and friends, corrugated is everywhere and for good reason - its sustainable and made from a renewable resource. Corrugated packaging arriving on our doorsteps is designed to be recycled, so it is important we properly recycle the cardboard in our homes and offices at every opportunity.

Corrugated can be recycled five to seven times and is a generally straightforward and easy material to recycle. In 2014, 96 percent of Americans had access to community curbside and/or drop-off recycling for corrugated boxes.

Here are six handy tips to get you started:

  1. Remove any non-paper box packing materials such as packing peanuts, air pillows or Styrofoam.
  2. You don’t need to worry about removing any tape or labels from your corrugated boxes. They will be removed in the recycling process.
  3. If your box is dented, bent, ripped or damaged, that’s okay. It can still be recycled as long as it is dry and clean.
  4. Keep your boxes dry.
  5. Keep your boxes clean and away from food products such as oil and grease! A heavily food-stained box cannot be recycled.
  6. Flatten your corrugated boxes or rip them up before placing them in your recycling bin or cart. This will save space.

Corrugated is primarily used to make packaging boxes, but can even be used to make furniture. ALL corrugated is recyclable, but when it comes to your juice containers, pizza boxes and milk cartons, separate rules may apply, so check your local municipality for rules and tips.

Corrugated is a wonder material - strong, durable and made from a renewable and recyclable material. When we recycle it, we improve our quality of life and our environment and also help the industry make new and innovative products we use every day.

Related resources:
 Recycling Corrugated Boxes Infographic | E-Commerce and Recycling Infographic