The holiday season is over but the boxes from gifts and online shopping are piled around the house. Wondering what to do with the overwhelming number of boxes but not sure how to properly dispose of them? Below are steps to take to be environmentally friendly.
First Things First – How Should You Prepare Cardboard for Recycling?
Cardboard recycling can be easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind so the process is simple for you and your recycling center.
- Keep it dry
Cardboard becomes difficult to recycle when wet, so try to keep it in a place where moisture can’t reach it.
- Break it down
Flatten the cardboard as much as you can to conserve space in curbside recycling bins and make it easier to transport. Flat boxes are also easier for the cardboard recycling center to process.
- Remove plastic and other contaminants
Cut away any attached plastic before recycling. You don’t have to remove any tape or labels, but if you do, the employees at recycling facilities will definitely appreciate your efforts.
- Use it as transport
If you have other recyclables such as paper, glass, and plastic, use your recyclable cardboard to transport them to the nearest drop-off center. Then you can recycle the box and go home empty-handed. Just be sure to break down the box before you recycle it.
- Take it outside
Cardboard is biodegradable and makes a great addition to your compost heap, but large pieces of cardboard won’t break down easily. Cut your cardboard into smaller pieces to aid the composting process.
- Create a system
It’s much easier to recycle frequently if you create a system. Figure out the easiest way to recycle your cardboard to save you time and hassle in the long run.
What are the Benefits of Recycling Cardboard?
In the United States, 96% of people have access to some sort of curbside or community recycling program for paper and cardboard. If everyone made full use of these programs, the environmental benefits would be significant.
- Diverts Cardboard from Landfill
Recycling just one ton of cardboard saves around 9 cubic yards of landfill space.
- Saves Energy
Cardboard recycling uses 76% less energy than manufacturing fresh cardboard from trees.
- Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
The process of cutting down trees, transporting them, and processing the raw materials into paper and cardboard is very resource intensive. Recycling just one ton of cardboard saves around 46 gallons of oil.
- Creates Jobs
Incinerating 10,000 tons of cardboard waste creates one job. Sticking that same 10,000 tons in a landfill creates six jobs. However, recycling 10,000 tons of cardboard opens up 36 jobs. In the U.S., recycling programs have created 1.1 million jobs and generated $37 billion in annual payroll as well as $236 billion in gross annual sales.
- Saves Trees
The more everyone recycles, the less trees need to be cut down for cardboard package needs. With recycling, we would only need to harvest 20% as much wood as opposed to harvesting for all packaging needs from scratch.
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About Santanna Energy Services
Santanna Energy Services, located in Austin, TX and Bolingbrook IL, is a Natural Gas and Electricity Provider for Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Institutional customers. The company was founded in 1988 and has been in business for 32 years and growing!