As more and more people purchase everything from televisions to toothpaste from ecommerce sites like Amazon.com, Ebay.com and Wayfair.com, cardboard shipping box consumption has skyrocketed over the past few years.
Fortunately, a large percentage of theses cardboard boxes ends up recycled.
In fact, the increase in the amount of cardboard boxes being recycled is actually having an effect on the color of recycled material at the Recology recycling facility in San Francisco according to a recent report by NBC News. Recology spokesman Robert Reed said the color “used to be grayish, like the color of newspapers and magazines. And now it’s more brown or cardboard in color, from all these boxes.”
At Texas Recycling, we’re all about the “3 Rs” – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. So while recycling cardboard boxes is preferable to disposing of them in the local landfill, reusing them prior to recycling is an even better way to help reduce our environmental impact. Here are just some of the many ways you can reuse cardboard boxes.
Use cardboard boxes to prevent automotive fluid stains
If you’ve ever tried to remove an unsightly fluid stain from your driveway you know it’s a nearly impossible feat. Instead of dealing with the eyesore, why keep it from happening in the first place by placing a flattened cardboard box on the ground beneath the engine compartment? This will prevent the stain from spreading and can also offer insights into exactly which automotive fluid is being leaked from the vehicle. Coolant stains are usually greenish-yellow, transmission leaks typically cause a reddish stain, and motor oil will create dark brown or black stains on your garage floor or driveway.
Use cardboard boxes in the garden
Used cardboard boxes are an economical alternative to store-bought mulch to prohibit weed growth in flower gardens. Simply place large pieces of cardboard on the soil and cover with a light layer of soil. The cardboard will prevent sunlight from reaching unwanted plants and prevents them from growing. Over time, the cardboard will decompose and provide better aeriation of the soil, which leads to healthier flowers and ornamental plants.
Cardboard boxes for temporary roof repairs
The DFW Metroplex is no stranger to violent windstorms. According to this news article, Texas has had 36 $100 million disasters from severe thunderstorms in the past 25 years, 29 of them from hail. After hail storms homeowners in the hardest-hit areas were dealing with roof repairs for months afterward as insurers and roofing contractors waded through the backlog of claims.
While no homeowner should ever cut corners when it comes to dealing with a damaged roof, there are times when a temporary fix is better than nothing at all. And this is where having a few flattened cardboard boxes on hand can come in handy. Simply wrap a piece of cardboard inside a plastic bag or tarp material and place it over small holes and areas where shingles have been torn away to prevent the damage from worsening until a roofing contractor can make a permanent repair.
Use cardboard boxes instead of tarps when painting
Few things can change the look and feel of a room like a fresh coat of paint. And few things are as frustrating as trying to clean paint splatters from carpet and furnishings. The next time you tackle a painting job consider using cardboard instead of a drop cloth to protect flooring and furniture. Corrugated cardboard (the kind that’s used to make most cardboard boxes) is thick and absorbent enough to stand up to even large paint spills. And the money you save by using cardboard instead of a tarp can come in handy if you find that you really need five gallons of paint instead of four to complete the job.
These are just a few of the ways cardboard boxes can be reused in the home, and we didn’t even mention the hours of fun young children can have transforming larger boxes into castles, rocket ships, forts and the countless other things their creative minds can conjure up!
How to properly recycle cardboard
When it comes time to recycle your used cardboard boxes, keep in mind that some types can’t be recycled. Cardboard food containers, like pizza boxes, that have been contaminated by grease can’t be recycled. Wax- and resin-coated cardboard boxes, including milk and juice cartons require a special recycling process and are therefore not accepted by all recycling facilities. And cardboard that has been saturated with water or other fluids is also not recyclable.
In most cases, cardboard boxes should be flattened and bound together to make them easier to transport and handle. Tape and labels do not need to be removed from boxes prior to recycling.
As one of the leading multi-material recycling companies in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas Recycling collects and processes tons of recyclable paper and cardboard at our 200,000-square foot recycling facility in Dallas, Texas. Whether you’re interested in our convenient on-site recycling or our affordable pickup services, we can create a cardboard recycling program that suits your needs and budget.
Contact us to learn about our cardboard recycling program details or call 214-357-0262 for current pricing.