True or False: You can recycle your cardboard pizza box. If you chose True you’re correct! If you chose False you’re also correct! Let me explain: Most people in my quick office poll did not know this, but if your pizza box has cheese, grease or pepperoni on it, it cannot be recycled as it’s considered a contaminant in the recycling process. Recycling plants process cardboard and other paper in a slurry of water and if you introduce grease, it doesn’t allow the paper to separate, which ruins the whole batch.
So what should you do with your dirty pizza boxes? Well if the lid is clean, you can tear that off from the bottom and recycle that portion and put the greasy part in your trash. Some people suggest may suggest adding it to your compost, but the oils and food could cause rot, which attracts pests. Your best bet is to make pizza at home and create less waste, but for those times when you just need delivery be aware of what you’re trying to recycle. The same doesn’t apply for plastic or glass recycling as the heat involved in this process burns off any contaminants. But be mindful of the paper that you recycle since all recyclable paper has the same issue with contamination.