Recycling cardboard can have a huge impact on reducing landfill waste and cutting down on pollution. Cardboard is used for over 90% of packaging materials in the United States, but is easily recycled. There are a lot of simple and easy ways to recycle cardboard.
There are two types of cardboard that can be recycled. These are corrugated cardboard, which is most commonly used for packaging materials, and paperboard, which is found in cereal boxes, shoe boxes and tissue boxes. Corrugated cardboard has one wavy piece of cardboard sandwiched in between two flat pieces of cardboard. The other type, paperboard, is a single flat sheet that is not truly cardboard but usually can be recycled along with it.
You cannot recycle cardboard from pizza boxes or any boxes that are stained with grease or oil. Cardboard that has gotten wet also cannot be recycled. The simplest way to recycle cardboard is to use your community's curbside pick-up service, if one is offered, or to take the cardboard to a drop-off center. If you are unsure where to find one of these, search online or look in the phone book for information. Some supermarkets will also accept old cardboard boxes, but be sure to call first.
To recycle cardboard, make sure the boxes are empty. Clean out any plastic or foam peanuts, and peel off packing tape. Cut down and flatten the boxes, and store them in a paper bag or tied with a string to make them easier to transport.
Recycling the cardboard is not your only option; there are other ways to reuse cardboard. The most obvious way is to reuse the boxes of items you received in the mail. You can re-package and re-mail items in the cardboard boxes and save yourself money and time. Another option is to give the boxes to kids to play with. Kids can make craft projects out of boxes and use their imagination.
Cardboard can be used in a number of creative ways. Some suggest using old cardboard boxes as beds for animals, as boxes for compost, or to place on the floor in a garage or workshop to prevent paint or oil stains. You can recycle cardboard by using boxes to store holiday decorations, seasonal clothes, or household items you aren't currently using.
Recycled cardboard can easily be reconstituted into new cardboard, using less natural resources and creating less pollution. It is so easy to recycle cardboard and reduce landfill contributions and waste. Getting kids involved in the recycling process can also teach them valuable life lessons about learning to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.