Big news for pizza lovers (and everyone else too): Burlington County is now collecting pizza boxes as part of its curbside recycling program.
The Burlington County Commissioners announced the new recycling initiative, saying it would benefit both the environment and taxpayers.
It’s a big change that reflects new best practices among some paper mills and cardboard manufacturing companies to accept materials with small amounts of grease, which can now be screened out during the pulping process so there’s little to no impact on quality. The boxes must remain clean of all food and most grease.
To properly recycle pizza boxes, be sure to empty and clean the boxes of any food, wax paper or lining before placing them in a curbside recycling container. Boxes may have a small amount of grease but there can be no cheese, crust or other food residue on them.
Burlington County Commissioner Deputy Director Tom Pullion announced the new initiative, calling it a gamechanger for cardboard recycling. Nationwide, more than 3 billion pizzas are sold annually, amounting to more than 600,000 tons of corrugated cardboard.
“For decades, we’ve been forced to toss millions of pounds of cardboard into our landfill annually. Now, we can give those pizza boxes a second life,” said Pullion, the liaison to the Department of Solid Waste and Recycling. “This will not only save space in our landfill but will save taxpayers’ money by helping to keep their municipal solid waste fees low.”
Burlington County is already a state leader in recycling. The County was the first in the state to create a regional recycling program and its continues to be one of the only counties to collect recycling from all of its towns without charging a fee on either towns or property owners for the service.
Last year, more than 84 million pounds of recyclables were collected, saving local towns more than $3.7 million in landfill tipping fees.
“That’s direct property tax relief and an example of the kind of smart and efficient shared services this County promotes and participates in,” Pullion said. “We believe collecting pizza boxes will further boost our recycling numbers and help save towns and their taxpayers even more.”
Residents are encouraged to download Burlington County’s free Recycle Coach app for more information and tips on how to recycle right. The app can be downloaded from iTunes or GooglePlay app stores and has information about what materials are accepted in curbside recycling. It also provides updates and alerts about collection schedules for each town.
Information is also available on the Burlington County website at burlcorecycles.com or by calling 609-499-1001.