Even if you're doing everything you can to create a paperless kitchen and to use less paper at home, it's not possible to avoid paper waste entirely. When you simply can't avoid the paper, you should obviously try to recycle it if you can. Here's a rundown of what paper products can and can't be recycled through most community waste management programs.
Recycle It! - These items are generally able to be recycled.
- Corrugated cardboard, but usually only if broken down into flat pieces
- Glossy paper like magazines and advertising circulars
- Printed office paper and notebook/tablet paper
- Paper envelopes
- Phone books
- Plain paper bags
Check With Your Community - Some cities and towns may accept these items, while others may not.
- Paperboard boxes, such as those used for cereal
- Cardboard liquid containers like milk cartons
- Paperback books
- Plastic lined envelopes
- Tissues, paper towels and napkins
- Frozen food boxes
- Wrapping paper
- Pizza boxes
- Greeting cards
Reuse It or Avoid It - These items typically cannot be recycled, so look for ways to upcycle or reuse them whenever possible.
- Boxes with built-in wax liners
- Hard-cover books
- Plastic-lined boxes like ice cream cartons
- Paper bags with wax liners
If your community doesn't accept the items in the second category, try using an app like iRecycle to see if another facility in your area will accept your paper waste.
What items are you surprised that you can or can't recycle? Tell us in the "Comments" section.