By Dillon Thomas
DENVER (CBS4) – With online shopping and shipping dominating sales during the holiday season, many find themselves overwhelmed with unwanted excess of cardboard boxes. With so many items shipped in cardboard boxes, Colorado recycling facilities have seen an increase of cardboard through their processing lines.
Alpine Waste & Recycling is on of Colorado’s largest recycling companies, with contracts through major cities like the City and County of Denver. Alpine spokesperson Steve Caulk said for nearly one month, the Alpine recycling facilities will see an increase in cardboard processed in their facilities.
“There’s definitely a spike,” Caulk told CBS Denver’s Dillon Thomas. “This time of year, we do see an increase.”
Nearly every home in Centennial that Alpine employee Romero Solano visited on Thursday had stacks of cardboard boxes waiting for him to pick up. Solano collected the items by himself. He drove the truck to each home, exited his vehicle, threw recyclables in to the back. Many times he would attach a homeowner’s recycling bin to a mechanical arm and would manually throw large cardboard boxes in to the back, while the truck did the rest.
Caulk said Solano is one of many staff members that helps Alpine collect more than 14,000 tons of reusable goods each month. With more than 30 percent of the items collected being cardboard, Alpine recycles more than 8 million pounds of cardboard a month.
“You can’t overwhelm us with cardboard,” Caulk said. “The cardboard is really valuable, and can be used over and over again for cardboard boxes.”
Caulk encouraged people to find a second use at home for their cardboard boxes. But if there is no need for the boxes, Caulk said Coloradans should always recycle their cardboard instead of throwing it away.
“Maybe next time it is going to be a cereal box. But, it is going to be used over and over and over again,” Caulk said.
Alpine also noted their acceptance of Styrofoam and some wrapping papers at their recycling facility. However, those who recycle should always check with their company of choice to make sure those items are accepted, before they place them in the recycling bin.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.