Unrecyclable Cardboard

3 May 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


If you are like many people, you dutifully put out your recycling, including corrugated cardboard. You break down the boxes and stack them in the recycling container. However, when you go out to retrieve your container, you may find that the recycling truck has left behind your pizza box and five cereal boxes. You might be confused as to what cardboard is acceptable in your area. Below is some information about items that might not be recyclable in your area, as well as other ways you can recycle those items on your own.

Grease and Wax

Often, your recycler will not take wax-covered cardboard such as milk cartons. Your pizza boxes may be rejected due to the greasy mess left on the cardboard. Also, if you store your cardboard outside, it can become wet, causing some recyclers to reject it. You always need to check with your recycling company's guidelines to find out their cardboard recycling rules. 


Some companies refuse to recycle chipboard, the kind of cardboard found in cereal boxes and soda packaging. The reasons for this ban varies, but it often has to do with cost. This type of cardboard has already been recycled several times, so the quality of it is quite low. Recycling it again may just not be profitable for the local recycling company. 

Alternative Uses

You can try and recycle these rejected cardboard items yourself by getting creative. You can cut up rejected cardboard items so that they can be used to collect your dog's waste while taking them on a walk. If you are gardening and want to protect your fledgling plants, you can often cut off the top of a milk carton and use the piece to cover a tomato plant or other new planting. The inside of cereal boxes can easily be turned into art supplies for your artistic children. They can color or even paint on the blank side of these pieces. They may want to decorate these cardboard items to make holiday decorations. Even if your recycler will not take these types of cardboard, you can get more use out of them. 

Cardboard recycling can be tricky. Different recycling companies have different rules about what they will take. In some instances, they will only take clean, dry corrugated cardboard. In order to be ecologically conscientious, you will need to find ways to reuse these rejected cardboard items. With the help of your creative family members, you can easily find uses for this "unusable" material. Let your recycler take what they will and use other methods to take care of the leftovers yourself. 

For more information on what can be recycled in your area, contact a company like Sunwest Metals Inc.