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Posted on: March 20, 2018

Step Up Your Recycling Efforts - Cardboard

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Did you know……. cardboard is one of the largest, single components of municipal solid waste? It is also the largest category of materials that Americans recycle every year recovering almost 90% of it. Amazon.com alone ships an average of 608 million packages each year, which averages out to about 1,600,000 packages per day…that’s a lot of cardboard boxes!

Recycling cardboard uses only 75% of the energy needed to make new cardboard and produces 50% less sulfur dioxide. Recycling one ton of cardboard saves about 46 gallons of oil, 390 kWh of electricity, 6.6 million BTUs of energy, 3 tons of trees, and 9 cubic yards of landfill space.

Recycled cardboard is a high-quality material that can be used as packaging materials and boxes. Cardboard can be recycled many times without losing its strength. Corrugated cardboard containers that get used for shipping have a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content.

In Massachusetts, all non-waxed and clean cardboard products are banned from being disposed of with solid waste. Recycling cardboard at the Weston Transfer Station has never been so easy. We have added new signs with pictures that show residents where to dispose of cardboard. It is better if boxes are broken down before they are put into the cardboard compactor and large pieces of cardboard need to be cut or folded to a size no larger than 2’ X 4’.

Wax-coated cardboard containers such as milk, soup, and juice cartons cannot be recycled with cardboard and should be placed in the solid waste compactor. Also, cardboard with food/grease stains, such as pizza boxes, are a frequent source of contamination – meaning food residues on the cardboard will spoil the recycling load. The question to ask is: are there oil stains on the box? If the answer is yes, you can either throw the whole box into the solid waste compactor or remove the stained parts and place them into the solid waste compactor and the clean part can then be recycled with the cardboard.

In fiscal year 2017 Weston’s Solid Waste and Recycling Facility recycled 604,340 pounds of cardboard, which equates to 302 tons diverted from the solid waste stream. Along with the benefits to our environment, this saved the Town of Weston $22,308 in disposal fees.

Weston’s Solid Waste and Recycling Facility’s success starts with you the Weston Resident. Your efforts make it possible for the Solid Waste and Recycling Facility to sell good quality recyclables for the best possible market prices. In fiscal year 2017 total sales of recyclables were over $19,000. The more revenue received from recyclables, the less likely the permit fee will increase.

Please be sure to take a few moments and separate all your recyclables from the trash. Let’s keep recyclables out of the solid waste compactors so we can save our natural resources, protect the environment and help keep the permit fee cost from increasing. Learn more about all that can be recycled at Weston.org/RSW.

For more information about recycling and Weston’s Solid Waste and Recycling Facility call John Zaccardi, Supervisor of the DPW Solid Waste and Recycling Division at 781-786-5165 or email John at Zaccardi.j@westonmass.org

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