Boxes, boxes, boxes...Everything we buy, or order, seems to be packaged in boxes!
The good news is that cardboard and paper boxes can be recycled. While you can leave tape and labels on the box, it is important that boxes are CLEAN, DRY....AND FLATTENED!
It’s important to keep your cardboard boxes clean and dry because contaminated or wet items will affect the integrity of the material and may end up thrown away since saturated cardboard is difficult to recycle.
Why do we flatten boxes and not other items?
In single stream recycling, the burden of mechanically sorting accurately is on the materials recovery facility (MRF) and is determined by the composition of each material. Containers should be kept in their original shape for the best chance of proper mechanical sorting. For example, if a container is in an unfamiliar shape, like a crushed can or water bottle, then it may be mistaken as something different, sorted incorrectly, and contaminate other materials.
Cardboard & corrugated boxes not only take up valuable space when not flattened, but they too are identified by their shape and the only consistent shape for boxes of all kinds is FLAT. So, if you care enough to recycle those boxes in the first place, then take the time to flatten them and keep them dry by closing the lid on your cart.