Recycling NJ
Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard

The thick corrugated cardboard used in shipping boxes and pizza boxes should be treated separately from the thinner paperboard used to make food boxes and packaging boxes such as cereal boxes.

For information on paperboard recycling see our paperboard webpage or consult your local town or county recycling website.

Corrugated cardboard is accepted in most curbside recycling schemes throughout New Jersey. In areas where cardboard is not accepted in the home recycling collection you can take the waste cardboard to your local municipal recycling center instead.

You should remove any staples from cardboard shipping boxes before the cardboard is sent for recycling. The staples damage the recycling machinery so any boxes where staples have not been removed are likely to be simply discarded in the trash by the recycling company.

Depending on where you live you will be asked to either place the cardboard in your recycling collection box or to fold the cardboard boxes and tie them together with string in a cardboard bundle kept separate from the rest of your commingled recycling. Instructions for how the recycling collection company requires all of your recyclables to be prepared are available on your town or county recycling website.

Pizza Delivery Boxes

Pizza delivery boxes are made from corrugated cardboard and can therefore be recycled along with the rest of your cardboard waste. However, if the cardboard is contaminated with oily pizza residue the box will be rejected by the recycling company because the oils will interfere with the recycling process.

If you have a composter we recommend cutting up the pizza box and adding it to your composter to be broken down.

If you wish to recycle the pizza box you should clean the pizza box and tear off any regions that are contaminated with grease/oil. Then place only the uncontaminated cardboard in with your recycling collection.