Pizza Box Recycling and “Green” Take-home Containers

Pizza box, Germany

I’m one of those people who tries to recycle most everything, either in the paper/plastic/bottles bin or the yard waste bin or my newly-designed compost patch.  So I have often thrown the big brown pizza box into my paper/plastic/bottles bin.  After all, most of it is clean, right???  Well, I just found out that my doing that gunks up the whole batch of recycling cardboard, which costs recyclers in the neighborhood of $700 million per year for irresponsible contamination.

Grease from pizza boxes doesn’t mix with the water used to break down the cardboard and can cause the entire batch to be ruined, and can ruin recyclers’ machinery, also.  Ditto for used paper plates, napkins, and paper towels, etc.

I’ve been thrilled to see restaurants offer “green” take-home containers, but here we have the same problem.  How do I remove that splotch of chicken tikka masala?  So is it really “green” if I can’t recycle it?

Apparently the solution for the pizza boxes is to cut out the greasy part and throw into the regular garbage, and recycle what’s clean.  OK, I guess I can do that.  The same for my “green” take-home containers.  Now that nagging doubt I had in my mind as I threw the not-so-clean pizza box into the recyclable bin is gone.  Boy, this recycling takes a lot of effort!

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