Can You Recycle Pizza Boxes?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Relax.

Yes, you can recycle pizza boxes. Here’s what you need to know before you toss them in the recycling bin:

Recycled Pizza Boxes Become More Pizza Boxes

This is, perhaps, the most incredible feat in all of recycling. Recycled cardboard generally begets more cardboard in the form of chipboard. Chipboard can be turned into all sorts of things: cereal boxes, tissue boxes, the tissues themselves, and paper. But, when pizza boxes are recycled, they’re typically fashioned into more boxes for your favorite cheesy goodness.

Are All Pizza Boxes Recyclable and Compostable?

Usually, yes, pizza boxes are recyclable. Most pizza boxes are made with corrugated cardboard, which is also compostable. However, you’ll occasionally get a pizza box with a wax coating when you order pickup or delivery. You can’t recycle those pizza boxes, but the good news is that they’re far less common than the corrugated ones.

Other Cardboard Boxes

Cracker, cereal, and similar boxes can be recycled, but they also have wax and paper involved. Check the label and remove those linings before you recycle the container.

How Do I Recycle My Pizza Box?

You can put your pizza box in the recycling bin, but you’ll have to do a quick inspection and some cleanup first. If the box is greasy, the processing plant won’t be able to recycle it, so you’ll have to throw it out. Don’t worry – a little bit of grease is okay. According to Marjorie Griek, the executive director of the National Recycling Coalition, the same goes for mini-morsels of food.

“If you’ve got a few crumbs in there, that’s not an issue,” Griek told the New York Times.

The good news is that most pies come with pizza liners, which absorb the grease and moisture. That helps to protect the box from getting soaked with oil and ensures the deliciousness of your slices. Of course, that means you shouldn’t recycle the pizza liner.

How To Recycle Your Pizza Box

  • Remove any food particles: That includes sauce, cheese, and crust, which you can put into your organics collection bin.

  • Check for grease: If you can see through the box, that’s a no-go. But, you can remove the greasy portion of the box and recycle the rest.

  • Remove the pizza liner: No wax. No grease. No problems.

  • Order more pizza: Order pizza for pickup or delivery.

Follow these simple steps and get more pizza in a box made from reused cardboard. It’s a delicious cycle.