All it takes to recycle cardboard, chipboard and all kinds of paper are a couple of bins, boxes or bags and a little space.
Flatten cardboard and chipboard (the type of lightweight cardboard packaging used for cereal and other products) boxes and place them in one of your recycling containers. Empty this container into the concrete bunker marked “cardboard” at the far end of the recycling center. Waxed beverage cartons, juice and soup boxes and food contaminated cardboard, such as pizza boxes, are not accepted. (No need to separate recyclables if you take them to a transfer station.)
Paper, including office paper, magazines, newspapers and inserts, phone books, paper bags, junk mail and books can be placed together into another of your containers and recycled as “mixed paper.” If you have a large amount of shredded paper, stuff it into bags and then tie the bags securely before putting them into the mixed paper hopper. Such items as paper towels, tissues, waxed or plastic coated, sticky sided or food contaminated paper cannot be recycled and must be disposed of as trash.
Recycling is important, but you will have less to recycle or throw away (and save money) if you reduce the amount of paper and cardboard you use. Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful:
- Use cloth instead of paper napkins; sponges or rags instead of paper towels.
- Print on both sides of the paper.
- Think before you print.
- Donate used books in good condition to the library for their book sale or to a local thrift store.
- Check out books and magazines from the library instead of buying them..
- Use reusable cloth shopping and lunch bags.
Why recycle paper and cardboard? There are many reasons. Here are just a couple:
- Each year, the average American uses more than 600 pounds of paper and paperboard products and the average American family throws away about 13,000 pieces of paper. Recycled paper can be made into copy paper, paper towels, construction materials, newspaper, paperboard, tissue, kitty litter and many other products.
- About 700 grocery bags could be made from a 15-year-old tree, enough to supply some supermarkets for less than one hour.
Some people who are extremely conscientious about reducing their waste and recycling have so little trash they actually go home with cash in their pocket after paying their dump fees. Remember these words to live by: “Don’t trash your cash. If you’re not recycling, you’re throwing your money away.”