Don't Trash Your Cardboard

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Don’t Trash Your Cardboard: Recycling Tips for the Holidays


With online holiday sales predicted to be higher than ever before and the Amazon effect, well, in full effect, we’re all sure to have oodles of packages delivered to our doors over the next few weeks. You would think that means plenty of opportunity for holiday cardboard recycling but according to the experts, that’s not always the case.


A USA Today analysis of several industry studies on cardboard use shows Americans are sending more corrugated cardboard to the landfill than to recycling plants compared to past years. Oftentimes the reason is poor cardboard recycling practices at the curb, among other factors. In 2017, 300,000 fewer tons of corrugated containers were recycled in the United States than in the year before, even as domestic consumption increased 3.5 percent, according to the American Forest and Paper Association


“Part of the reason for the drop in cardboard recycling is that the onus is now on individual consumers to recycle properly. Prior to the rise of online shopping, retailers were responsible for flattening and baling cardboard boxes and making sure they made their way to the recycling plant,” says, Diane Bickett, executive director for the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.


In Cuyahoga County, it’s easy to recycle cardboard boxes and containers when you follow a few simple steps.


Holiday Cardboard Recycling Tips

  • Don’t worry about removing any tape or labels, those will come off during the recycling process.
  • Remove all packing materials such as packing peanuts or Styrofoam™ blocks.
  • Break down your box or container into a flattened state. Don’t worry if it’s dented, bent, ripped or damaged.
  • Only place cardboard out for collection in dry weather or in a closed recycling receptacle.
  • Place the flattened, clean and dry cardboard in your curbside recycling container or drop it off at a Paper Retriever or River Valley paper drop-off location. These large, green and yellow recycling bins can be found in the parking lots of schools and churches.

Cardboard packaging is generally recycled five to seven times and is used to make new products such as cereal boxes, tissues and more cardboard. Cardboard recycling also reduces the number of trees needed for cardboard manufacturing.


About The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District is the public agency helping the people of Cuyahoga County reduce, reuse and recycle at home, at work and in our communities. We serve as the leading resource in the County for information, expertise and programs that support sustainable materials management and reduce the environmental impact of waste.


Visit or call 216.443.3749 to learn how to recycle in your community and discover other recycling and disposal options.