It’s hard to tell which boxes can be recycled and which ones cannot, especially when they are all made from paper products. Of the following items, which one can be recycled and which ones belongs in the trash?
Cardboard shipping box
Frozen food box
Answer: The shipping box is the only one that can be recycled.
Frozen food boxes such as those used for pizza, ice cream and microwaveable meals are not recyclable. The reason is that they have a plastic coating, which is good at keeping them from falling apart, but it makes them unrecyclable at a paper mill. The same goes for other boxes used to store many refrigerated items, such as butter. Any type of coated paperboards like this should be disposed of in the garbage.
Cardboard boxes used for shipping are recyclable. We ask that you empty and flatten them. Tape and labels are okay to stay on, unless the amount is excessive.
Brought to you by:
Sarah Grimm is the Waste Reduction Specialist for Lane County Public Works.
She is an avid gardener, flyfisher and lover of the great outdoors.