Can You Recycle Pizza Boxes?

How Do You Dispose Of Pizza Boxes?

One of the biggest cardboard recycling questions people often have is can you recycle pizza boxes? This is actually a really important question given that over a billion pizzas are delivered in the United States every single year. How many pizzas are delivered a day? Well that is a staggering 12 million pizzas approximately. So the proper disposal of pizza boxes is actually very significant, and that is why everyone should know the facts when it comes to recycling pizza boxes.

Pizza boxes are created with corrugated cardboard, which is 100% recyclable. And many pizza boxes are designed with small recycling symbols to give the impression that they can be placed in the recycle bin. Unfortunately, once greasy toppings soak into the pizza box it instantly contaminants the pizza box making it not suitable for recycling. Or at least those portions of the box that came in contact with the grease. Therefore, any parts of the pizza box that are not covered with grease (often the top fo the box) can be cut away and placed in the recycle bin. The greasy, food-covered portions need to be placed in the trash bin.

During the recycling process, grease/oil can result in significant issues because it places contaminants into the water when it is squeezed out, creating holes. Besides grease from the pizza, other contaminants such as adhesives (such as the kind promoting sales or coupons) are sometimes found on boxes. These also should be cut off before placing a pizza box into a recycling bin. In fact, the best practice would be to cut away any portions of a pizza box that has grease, food, adhesive, or anything that could create contamination.

Fun Recycling Fact: Cardboard pizza boxes are broken down into pulp where the fibers from the cardboard are separated then bleached. These fibers are later washed, pressed and coiled into a new form of recycled paper product!

Pizza Box Recycling FAQs