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Can you recycle pizza boxes?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Relax. 

Yes, you can recycle pizza boxes. Here’s what you need to know before you get on cardboard:

Recycled pizza boxes are turned into more pizza boxes.

This is, perhaps, the greatest feat in all of recycling. Recycled cardboard generally begets more cardboard, in the form of chipboard. Chipboard can be turned into all sorts of things: cereal boxes, tissue boxes, the tissues themselves, and paper. But, when pizza boxes are recycled, they’re typically fashioned into more of your favorite vessel.      

Are all pizza boxes recyclable and compostable?

Usually, yes, pizza boxes are recyclable. Most pizza boxes are made with corrugated cardboard, which is also compostable. However, you’ll occasionally get a pizza box with a wax coating when you order pickup or delivery. You can’t recycle those pizza boxes, but the good news is that they’re far less common than the corrugated ones.

Are other cardboard boxes also recyclable?  

Cracker, cereal, and similar boxes can be recycled, but they also have wax and paper involved. Check the label and remove those linings before you ‘cycle your carb container.

How can I recycle my pizza box?

Cutting pizza box

You can put your pizza box in the recycling bin, but you’ll have to do a quick inspection and some cleanup first. If the box is really greasy, the processing plant won’t be able to recycle it, so you’ll have to throw it out. Don’t worry – a little bit of grease is okay. Same goes for mini-morsels of food, according to Marjorie Griek, the executive director of the National Recycling Coalition.

“If you’ve got a few crumbs in there, that’s not an issue,” Griek told the New York Times.

The good news is that most pies come with pizza liners, which absorb the grease and moisture. That helps to protect the box from getting soaked with oil and ensures the deliciousness of your slices. Of course, that means you shouldn’t recycle the pizza liner.

How to recycle your pizza box, step-by-step:

Pizza box
  1. Remove any food particles: That includes sauce, cheese, and crust, which can put put into your organics collection bin. (Pro tip: Do your pizza research and order the most delicious pie possible. That way, you won’t have any excess when you’re done.) 
  2. Check for grease: If you can see through the box…that’s a no-go. But, you can remove the greasy portion of the box and recycle the rest. 
  3. Remove the pizza liner: No wax. No grease. No problems.   
  4. Order more pizza: Order pizza for pickup or delivery, follow these simple steps, and get more pizza in a box made from reused cardboard.  It’s a delicious cycle.  

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