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The Pizza Box Recycling Mystery

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posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 07:01 AM
Think all your pizza delivery boxes are recycled ?

Think again !

Much of the cardboard of the pizza box gets soaked with pizza oil and grease, and that makes the cardboard non-recyclable !

The problem reportedly costs the industry $100's of millions a year.

And the guilty ones are people who sneak the contaminated cardboard in with "good" cardboard !

Many people assume that pizza boxes are recyclable. In fact, most boxes have recycling symbols on them and are traditionally made from corrugated cardboard. They are, in and of themselves, recyclable.

However, what makes parts of them non-recyclable is the hot, tasty treat that comes inside them, specifically, the grease and cheese from pizza that soil the cardboard.

So there you have it, pizza boxes that are tarnished with food, or any paper product that is stained with grease or food, are not recyclable - unless you remove the tainted portions.

But why is this? And what are the implications for the general, pizza-loving public? Mmm, pizza......

Pizza Box Cardboard

I wonder who gets rich from this boondoggle ?

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 07:06 AM
Our paper collection wont accept any cardboard that has been in contact with any food, and they check too.
They also wont recycle toilet roll as it has tissue paper left on the roll.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 07:18 AM
Glad I don't have that problem.
I eat a lot of pizza and throw away a lot of TP.

edit on 8-3-2012 by Manhater because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 07:47 AM
Solution: burn the boxes and scatter the ashes around a garden for fertilizer. Then eat the results.

Nah, that'll never work. Why not have everyone spend time and energy sorting boxes for free, let large companies make a large profit from picking them up, turn a small percentage of them into more boxes, and bury the rest in a landfill so no one can use that land for a couple hundred years?

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Silly humans...


posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 07:56 AM
A greasy pizza box is great for starting fires. We use a wood stove in the winter and greasy pizza box cardboard is way better than newspaper (or charcoal fluid even) for starting a fire. The best natural fire starter is birch bark (from a dead tree) which burns like it was soaked in kerosene, even when its wet.
edit on 8-3-2012 by MichiganSwampBuck because: typo

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:03 AM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Unfortunately, depending on were you live, you can not burn. Even in suburbs, Heck some places ban those decorative outside fireplaces for decks.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:13 AM

Originally posted by MichiganSwampBuck
A greasy pizza box is great for starting fires. We use a wood stove in the winter and greasy pizza box cardboard is way better than newspaper (or charcoal fluid even) for starting a fire..

Before the readers jump on that concept, I'd better add that I spent a while sweeping chimneys when my trade was stalling and one big fact emerged...most chimney fires are started by burning pizza boxes!

That greasy flare-up puts flames where they don't normally go and the creosote build-up catches fire. It can take out your house!

So...careful out there...

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:25 AM
I saw this article and I am glad you posted it.
Quite sad that we can't do anything that is such a huge trash burden, like diapers.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:30 AM
My local recycling has a guy stand out there on cardboard day to make sure pizza boxes don't get in. I asked him why one day, he told me its because recycleables with food on them attracts rats at the main collection centers and it's a problem they don't want to deal with.

Not sure that's the real reason though - they don't get crazy with unwashed bottles and cans...

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by JohnnyCanuck

Sheesh a Lumberjack AND a Chimney sweeper! Talented man!

On topic, I just checked Dominos Australia to see what they say, since they carry on a bit about recycling on their boxes...

Lots of people think you can’t recycle pizza boxes – but you can! Domino’s encourages all of its customers to put their pizza boxes in the cardboard recycling bin no matter how much oil or baked-on cheese is still left, as long as you remember to throw crusts and other leftovers in the regular rubbish. Domino’s have been working with packaging experts VISY for a decade to perfect the design of our pizza box to ensure that it can be reincarnated to help our planet

Different here maybe?


posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:46 AM
In Australia it depends on your council.

I try and recycle as much as possible I feel guilty if I don't.
edit on 8-3-2012 by amraks because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 10:31 AM
I typically rip up or shred pizza boxes, cardboard and even toilet paper rolls. I try to tear these assorted “card-boards” into the smallest pieces possible (soaking them down with water helps). Then I simply add these bits of cellulose to my compost pile. It's great material for aerating other organics and soils which would, otherwise, become tightly compacted.

Seeing my compost piles filled with earthworms is an indication that this certainly works and works well towards making excellent soil enrichment material.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 01:28 PM
I started chucking my food scraps in my back yard and accidentally grew pumpkins and tomatoes.

I gotta harvest them soon.

Compost is good I need worms to fish.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 01:46 PM
Our pizza boxes from Pizza Hut and Fun House Pizza both come with waxed paper liners. Once the liner is removed very little of the box is grease covered. I always put the pizza box in the recycle.
ETA, I will try the fire starter thing this summer. We love to sit outside by the fire...pyro's at heart.

edit on 8-3-2012 by MissPoovey because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 01:46 PM

Originally posted by amraks
I started chucking my food scraps in my back yard and accidentally grew pumpkins and tomatoes.

I gotta harvest them soon.

Compost is good I need worms to fish.

Glad I'm not your neighbor.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 01:57 PM
You would think they would line the pizza box with wax paper to solve this problem.. Meh

Posted Via ATS Mobile:

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 02:29 PM
reply to post by benevolent tyrant

Did you know that in Toilet Paper there is a Chemical known as BHT?

Why BHT is bad.

Link on studies of what products contain BHT. (From another country besides the U.S., but if its from the Danish EPA, then i am 100% sure its also in the U.S.)

You might want to reconsider using T.P. rolls. BHT rubs off and sticks to certain things and can be absorbed through the skin, it is also found in receipts of all kinds from grocery stores to gas stations.

Just a heads up if you didn't know already.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:15 PM
reply to post by Quickfix


It's really frightening when there are dangerous "additives" in, of all things, toilet paper rolls.

There simply isn't any way, it would seem, to get away from this commercial madness.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 08:56 PM
A DIY - Home Made - Pizza, does not have such a ridiculous problem as a useless cardboard box. There was a time when we could buy 1 razor - to shave with - and thereafter simply purchased a new razor blade replacement. Today we have to buy a plastic razor that is thrown away when blunt and replaced with more useless plastic. Original authors cum writers could find 1 Quill - ie 1 large birds feather, shave such it had an acceptable tip and could be then dipped in ink and used, time after time. Today the run pen runs dry and is thrown away to be replaced with more Plastic junk. Quill eventually replaced by a re-fillable Fountain Pen, oh and even the ink was bought in a small glass container. That was all recycleable.

Old lawn mowers had no Diesel engine, they were simply pushed across the lawn manually, something that served as a useful exercise.

Original Diapers, made out of Cloth, washed after use, and hung out to dry before being used again.

A host of foodstuff was displayed minus a cardboard container, wrapped when purchased and brought home to use or maybe cook.

Just a few Old World Ideas and no doubt you could recall many more. So whose stupid, Ignorant, Greedy wisdom gave birth to the new large Supermarket and thereby abolished local corner shops ??? For its they who gave Birth to stacks of useless containers and helped construct a new World problem

During my childhood years we had no washing machine, so no one had to replace such when it eventually burnt out.

We had no Fridge or Freezer, so they too created no problem. In fact Yesteryear was a a somewhat sensible period of time. Today, ??????????? Even PCs are helping to ruin our vision faster. Note how many Old Age Pensioners can read without putting glasses on.

I feel sorry for the oncoming years, they will simply worsen , more disposable junk will be introduced and in time we will be taxed for throwing such away.

posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 09:24 PM
Usually my pizza boxes dont have much on them and as far as i know get recycled. I go light on the cheese, sometimes no cheese at all then i put the box outside for a few weeks and let the elements get to it. Finally i put them in recycling.

Sunlight being the disinfectant.
edit on 8-3-2012 by Malcher because: (no reason given)

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