Learn how to recycle cardboard because it’s something that all Canadians have the ability to do, and it’s a good habit to form.

A feature image for a blog post about how to recycle cardboard.

According to John Mullinder, head of the paper packaging industry’s environmental council, PPEC, most new boxes manufactured in Canada are made from 100% recycled material.

That’s good for the environment and a great reason to learn how to recycle cardboard properly.

How to Prepare Cardboard for Recycling

Cardboard is an excellent product to recycle. It is generally accepted by most recycling programs and not difficult to prepare. Just look up the regulations for your municipality and get your cardboard to the depot.

It’s often as simple as breaking the boxes down and putting them in the recycling bin or a proper recycling bag at the curb. However, some places require that larger amounts of boxes be flattened and bundling in a specific way.

It’s helpful to remove tape and staples (but not always necessary), and packing materials as thoroughly as possible, and avoid recycling wet cardboard and soiled containers. There’s more on the last two points in the sections below.

If the regulations are not clear or difficult to find, a call to your town office will likely get you to the right department and answers to your questions.

Can You Recycle Pizza Boxes?

A common question when it comes to recycling cardboard is can you recycle pizza boxes. The general answer is that you can if it’s the part of the box that doesn’t have oil or grease stains.

Sometimes people mean well by recycling the entire pizza box but contaminate the batch with an oily residue. To be safe, cut off any stained parts of the container and put the clean part in the recycling.

Because of the way they’re recycled, paper products are more easily contaminated than glass, plastic, and metal. So, err on the side of caution and make sure your paper products such as cardboard are clean.

And, if you’re really unsure what to do, check with the local program regulations to be sure of how to proceed.

Can You Recycle Wet Cardboard?

When it comes to whether you can recycle wet cardboard, it always best to keep it as dry as possible. If it does get wet, try to dry it out completely before adding it to the bin, and don’t include moldy cardboard.

When cardboard has been wet, it changes the fibers’ composition, which may reduce its value for recycling. There is always the possibility of making it more difficult for the workers and machinery to manipulate.

So, if it’s already wet when you receive it, do your best to dry it out. And make an effort to keep it dry before it gets to the pickup or drop-off site.

Breaking larger boxes down is a good way to make sure they fit in your container or bundling them in a recycling bag will keep them dry. Again, check with local officials for the best procedures.

Why Recycle Cardboard?

You might be wondering why it’s important to recycle cardboard. Well, there are some very good reasons to make the effort of putting it in the recycling and not the trash:

  • It saves on landfill space, and in some places, it’s banned from going in the landfill.
  • It saves on water, energy, and resources, which add up quickly over time.
  • In Canada, the ability to recycle cardboard is well-established and easy to do.
  • 1000s of trees can be saved by recycling cardboard. It makes many new products without harvesting more trees.
  • Recycled cardboard is strong and can make many products that would require metal or wood.

Recycling cardboard is not difficult, and it can bring about many environmental benefits. It’s worth sorting out your used cardboard and making sure it goes to the recycling depot and not the landfill.

People are ordering more and more online, and making sure all those boxes get recycled is more important than ever. Plus, it’s essential during events like the holiday season with so much packaging for shipping parcels.

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