How To Recycle Boxes — A Short, Sweet Recycling Tip With a Big Impact!

How To Recycle Boxes — A Short, Sweet Recycling Tip With a Big Impact!

  • Editor’s Note: This recycling tips article was written by Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or

This week’s article is short and sweet but will have a big impact if you choose to follow the advice herein.

Delivery Boxes Pile Up

As more of us are ordering our goods to be delivered, there are more boxes to recycle at home instead of at retailers. Here is a recent Waste Advantage Magazine article on the issue.

I was shocked a couple months ago when a member of my own household did not know that boxes needed to be flattened before putting them in the bin.

Here is a tip on how to recycle boxes the right way.

How to Recycle Boxes

All boxes need to be flattened before you put them in the recycling cart, and I don’t mean just stomped on and smashed into a lumpy shape.

First, empty and flatten all boxes, from tissue and cereal boxes (made of paperboard) to large delivery boxes (made of corrugated cardboard).

Cut the tape, flatten and fold into a size that fits in the cart. If they are too big, cut them down with a box cutter.

Place them neatly in the cart. Do not jam them in so that when the truck tips the cart they will slide out smoothly.


Because the sorting facilities use a series of conveyor belts and sorting screens to sort materials and the boxes are sorted by the shape – thin and flat.

  • Next Article: In the next article I will talk about how to properly recycle all of the packaging materials inside of the boxes. Stay tuned!