What can you do with cardboard boxes in Austin?

Cardboard is a widely used packaging material that plays a crucial role in our daily lives. However, the production and disposal of cardboard can have a significant impact on the environment. Fortunately, cardboard is highly recyclable, and it can be turned into new products without losing its quality. In this blog, we will explore how cardboard is recycled in Austin, Texas, and discuss ways to improve sustainability.

The recycling process for cardboard starts with collection. In Austin, cardboard is collected from homes, businesses, and public places by the city’s recycling program or private haulers. The Austin Resource Recovery department manages the city’s recycling program. The department also offers rebates for businesses that qualify for zero waste incentives.

How is cardboard recycled?

Once collected, the cardboard is transported to a recycling facility, where it undergoes several steps to become new products. The first step in the recycling process is sorting. The cardboard is sorted by type, quality, and color to ensure that only clean and recyclable material is used. Contaminated cardboard, such as boxes soiled with food waste, cannot be recycled and is sent to landfills.

After sorting, the cardboard is shredded into small pieces and mixed with water to create a pulp. The pulp is then cleaned to remove any non-cardboard materials, such as staples and tape. The cleaned pulp is then pressed into sheets, which are dried and cut into new cardboard products.

Other ways Austin is helping

One of the ways Austin is improving sustainability is through the promotion of the circular economy. The circular economy model aims to keep materials in use for as long as possible, reduce waste, and create new products from recycled materials. By using recycled cardboard, Austin is reducing the demand for virgin materials and promoting a more sustainable economy.

Furthermore, Austin is taking steps to reduce the amount of cardboard waste generated. In recent years, the city has launched several initiatives to encourage residents and businesses to reduce their cardboard waste. For example, the Austin Resource Recovery department encourages businesses to use alternative packaging materials, such as reusable containers, to reduce the amount of cardboard used.

Another way to improve sustainability is to increase the use of recycled cardboard. By using recycled cardboard instead of virgin materials, businesses and consumers can reduce the demand for new cardboard production, which requires the harvesting of trees and the use of energy and water. In Austin, businesses can purchase recycled cardboard products from local suppliers or request that their suppliers use recycled materials.

In addition to these efforts, Austin is also working to increase public awareness of cardboard recycling and the benefits of recycling in general. The Austin Resource Recovery department provides educational resources on their website, including a recycling guide and a list of recycling drop-off locations. By providing education and resources, the department hopes to increase participation in recycling programs and reduce the amount of cardboard waste that ends up in landfills.

Simple things you can do to recycle cardboard

Here are some things that you can do with your used boxes from places like Amazon or old moving boxes:

    • Donate, give away, or possibly sell your used clean boxes.  Be mindful of someone coming to your home.
    • Repurpose your old boxes, can they be used for long-term storage?
    • Neatly breakdown your clean boxes and deliver the boxes to a recycling center.
    • Hire a professional junk removal company to remove the items.  Be sure to choose a company dedicated to eco-friendly junk removal.
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