For years, countless articles have been written and numerous conversations had examining the mystery of why pizza boxes aren’t recyclable. After all, they’re made of cardboard. But consumers keep being told that the oils from one of our nationally favorite foods contaminate this otherwise recyclable container, effecting the paper recycling process. No recycler will accept them.
Eureka Recycling, a zero-waste company based in he Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, now accepts used pizza boxes as part of their normal curbside recycling.
“We talked to the mills that we worked with to recycle cardboard, and we asked them to test it to see if it could truly be made back into new cardboard boxes,” Dianna Kennedy of Eureka Recycling told local ABC Eyewitness News station, KSTP. “And the results came back positive, and we were able to add it.”
Minnesotans can’t simply toss their empty pizza boxes in their recycling bins. Also, don’t try storing frozen, store-bought pizza boxes in the storage bins in your garage until trash pick-up day, then trying to sneak them in. They aren’t included in this recycling program.
Eureka Recycling lists instructions as to how to prepare your empty pizza box for recycling. These include nixing any left-over globs of cheese or crumbs from the box and deep-sixing left-over pizza slices.
Being able to recycle used pizza boxes will save plenty of them from ending up in landfills.
The question is, what will it take for this program to become a nationally acceptable standard. With Americans love affair with the gooey italian pie, that’s literally thousand upon thousands of boxes that could be recovered and recycled into new pizza boxes!
Maybe we should start a movement here – pizza lovers for recycled boxes! Speak up pizza lovers! This is a movement that’s got yummy benefits and makes a difference!