Can I Recycle Waxy Cardboard?

Can I Recycle Waxy Cardboard? - Garbage Removal

Can I Recycle Waxy Cardboard?

In the modern age of environmental responsibility, many people try to recycle everything they can. Still, a few items remain unable to be recycled because recycling plants can’t process them effectively. People often wonder about waxy or “waxed” cardboard and whether or not they can recycle it. Recycling companies take paper as well as regular cardboard, and they often will also take clean paper food containers, so shouldn’t they take waxy cardboard too?

The short answer: No

Recycling plants can’t recycle waxy or waxed cardboard the way that they can recycle unwaxed cardboard or paper. The wax cannot be removed during the process of recycling. Therefore, when the plant creates the new paper from the recycled cardboard, the raw material contains both wax and paper, not just the paper. The inclusion of the wax creates holes or breaks in the new, recycled paper, and leads to easy tearing of the paper, decreasing its sturdiness and making it unusable.

What Is “Waxy Cardboard,” Anyway?

Waxy cardboard refers to cardboard that has been coated with a layer of wax to prevent things like germ or mold contamination and insect infestation. Wax coating on cardboard also helps to prevent leaks or the seeping of oils. You can tell if you have waxy cardboard by running your fingernail along the coated or shiny surface. If you have waxed cardboard, the wax will peel off where you’ve scratched the surface.

Don’t Confuse Waxy with Glossy

Waxy cardboard is mainly used for things like produce boxes that are delivered to places like grocery stores and restaurants. It is actually not likely that most residential homes will have a lot of waxy cardboard on hand that needs to be disposed of. People often confuse waxy cardboard with glossy cardboard or paper. Glossy material can and should be recycled, and in most cases you can put glossy material out with your regular cardboard and paper curbside recycling.

Additional Help

If you need help with recycling or waste removal, use TalkLocal to find reputable recycling and garbage removal services. We will connect you with up to three garbage removal services in your area who will be available to help you when you need them.

One Response to “Can I Recycle Waxy Cardboard?”

  1. James Bergman says:

    I appreciate you making the distinction between waxy and glossy cardboard. I have heard that waxy cardboard cannot be recycled but didn’t make the connection until now. All of the project boards used for presentations have ended up in the trash. I will amend that now, Thanks.

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