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Are Pizza Boxes Recyclable?

Climate activist Greta Thunberg resurfaced a common question during a viral Twitter exchange. Here's what you need to know about recycling your pizza boxes.

are pizza boxes recyclable
Written by
Calin Van Paris
Unless you've been living under a rock—or staying true to your
early-onset resolution
to stay off social—you've likely borne witness to the unhinged online interaction between climate activist
Greta Thunberg
and some guy named Andrew Tate.
And while the drama resulted in some serious (and karmic) consequences, a casual (and common) question was raised along the way: are pizza boxes recyclable?
Though Greta Thunberg's viral burn(s) are effective and factual, the process of recycling pizza boxes is a bit more complicated than it may seem. Pizza boxes are made of cardboard, meaning that they are
technically recyclable
, but the grease that seeps from your hot-and-ready cheese and toppings can make the material unsuitable for certain kinds of disposal.
Fortunately, a few simple steps can help to ensure that the majority of your pizza box ends up in your recycling bin (or
pile!) instead of the

How to Recycle a Pizza Box

are pizza boxes recyclable
To begin, check the regulations are your city's recycling—many places do, in fact,
accept pizza boxes
in any shape, residue and all.
In some cases, though, recycling or composting a pizza box correctly can require a bit of crafting on your part. Grease and sauce-soaked cardboard make it difficult for sorting machines to
separate food from paper
, rendering the item unprocessable. Likewise, grease and oil are often too strong to properly break down in your compost pile or bin.
The solution? Cut away the polluted parts.
Simply cut the grease-stained portions of the pizza box away before recycling or composting. The smaller pieces will biodegrade more quickly in your compost, too, making this extra step a worthy one.
Thanks for the refresher (and everything else), Greta! The planet appreciates it.