The Importance of Carton Recycling

By Cindy Martinez

Carton is one of the recyclables that we see being brought to our facilities often. Residents around the county are participating more in recycling and learning how to combat illegal dumping; however, some residents might still be confused over whether or not cartons should be thrown in the trash bin, or recycled.  This can lead many of us residents to toss it in the trash, and therefore, making its way into a landfill.

Some examples of cardboard and corrugated carton boxes.

Cardboard and Cartons are often confused, and even though they are both quite similar, it is important to remember that cardboard is a more compact form of paper. Corrugated carton (or just simply carton) is made up of layers of paper, which are not as dense or compact as heavy cardboard.

Why should we bother to recycle carton boxes? Carton is definitely one of our most favorite recyclables around, and its strong fibers make it a good source for other kinds of materials, such as office paper, paper towels, and yes, even toilet paper. Recycling carton not only produces all kinds of other materials,  but reduces  the carbon footprint, and reduces the amount of things that are thrown in the landfill. If you are looking for more reasons to recycle carton, you can think about all of the carton materials that you can find in your home, cereal boxes, milk cartons, or boxes laying around your home.

Pizza boxes cause a lot of confusion as to whether or not they can be recycled. Essentially, yes, they can be recycled, because they are cardboard. However, if they are contaminated with grease from the pizza, they cannot be recycled. Some companies are offering some kind of parchment paper between the cardboard and the food, to make recycling more efficient.

How should we recycle our cardboard and/or carton materials? You can do this by making sure that you empty these recyclables, give them a quick rinse, toss them in your recycling bin (with lids on), or bringing them to your nearest collection center that offers recycling. Its’ as easy as that! Most facilities ask that your recyclables have their lids on to avoid contamination of other materials, and to avoid pesky bugs from crawling in.

Recycling is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint, and can be easy to do! If you wish to teach children about recycling, visit  to learn some cool facts. or check out the Carton Council to find out how you can get involved.


Happy recycling!