As long as it is clean, both corrugated cardboard and paperboard can (and should) be recycled. Cardboard is a high-quality and durable material that makes it ideal for being recycled into paperboard, cardboard and other paper products. When recycling cardboard boxes, make sure they are empty, flat and free from water damage. Although made from cardboard, pizza boxes cannot be recycled.
Paperboard includes cereal and other food boxes. Before tossing boxes into your recycling bin, remove plastic liners and make sure the container is clean. If the paperboard has grease stains or other food contamination, it cannot be recycled.
Tie old newspapers with twine or put them in a paper grocery bag for recycling. When preparing your newspaper for the recycling center, make sure that there are no product samples and remove rubber bands or pieces of plastic. Otherwise, the entire newspaper is recyclable, including glossy inserts. In addition to being recycled, newspapers can be reused in a variety of ways, such as for protecting fragile items for shipment or packing, cleaning windows and mirrors, or protecting furniture from paint splatters during home improvements or art projects.
High-grade office paper is the most valuable for recycling and includes computer paper, white envelopes, notebook paper and ledger paper.
Mixed paper is a term used to identify all other types of paper, including manila folders, colored paper, junk mail, catalogs and magazines. Before recycling junk mail, throw out any sample products, fake credit cards, subscription cards or other non-recyclable materials. Although not made from paper, plastic window envelopes and staples do not need to be removed.
In order to be recognized for its full value, high-grade paper needs to be recycled separately from other paper. Although recycling programs will accept high-grade paper mixed with lower-grade varieties, the entire lot will be categorized as low-grade, mixed paper. If your office is looking to make the biggest profit from its recycling program, you should separate high- and low-grade paper. Waste-paper dealers pay companies for their recycled paper and will pay a higher premium for high-grade products.
Although most paper can be safely recycled, some things may not be included in your paper bin. Any paper that has been contaminated by food, water or oil cannot be recycled, nor can wax, waxed cardboard beverage containers, juice boxes, pet food bags and other plastic-laminated paper.