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Home Recycling Greasy pizza boxes now deemed OK to recycle – KTVA 11

Greasy pizza boxes now deemed OK to recycle – KTVA 11

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Monday, August 24th 2020, 3:52 PM AKDT

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It’s one of the most frequently asked questions about recycling, according to Anchorage Recycling Coordinator Suzanna Caldwell: Is it OK to put that greasy pizza box in recycling? Or should it be thrown away? In recent days the answer has changed.

“There were concerns that when you actually recycled the boxes, having that grease and cheese and stuff was going to affect the ability to recycle the cardboard into new boxes,” said Caldwell.

But Caldwell said a recent national study by WestRock Recycling, which handles recycling in Anchorage, has shown the impacts to be minimal.

“They found the amount of grease and cheese that are going on these pizza boxes is very small. And it actually doesn’t affect the ability to recycle the pizza boxes,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell said greasy pizza boxes can now go into the bins at the Anchorage Recycling Center as well as curbside recycling cans. She said a few gobs of cheese on the lid is perfectly fine but added that the messiest of boxes should be thrown away.

“Vegetables or pepperoni or like a whole slice or something like that is definitely not allowed. But again, anything that gets imbedded in that cardboard, that’s fine,” Caldwell said.

The new rules come as good news to people who recycle frequently and who are happy to add another item to the list of things that can be recycled. It’s also a positive step for restaurants like Moose’s Tooth, where Manager Megan McBride said they are seeing at least a thousand take-out pizza boxes going out the door every day. She said the restaurant was never able to recycle boxes that once contained food. She is thrilled that now they can. 

More information about what is currently being accepted for recycling in Anchorage can be found online.

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