Are You Recycling Your Paperboard?

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If you really want to make a positive impact on the environment and reduce the amount of garbage you send to the landfill, then this post is for you.

Paperboard packaging containers are everywhere…at least everywhere our modern lifestyle takes us. You’ll find them at grocery stores, Target, gas stations, Home Depot, and drug stores. They come home with you when you buy cereal, beer, soda, aspirin, toys, crackers, batteries, dryer sheets, and frozen pizza. Take a look in your trashcan and see how much is in there. According to the EPA, paper and paperboard make up 35% of municipal waste – an unnecessary burden on our landfills for sure.

But here’s the good news: you can recycle it all!

Charleston County Recycling began recycling paperboard packaging containers in February of 2006, and delivered its first truckload to Caraustar on April 20. That truck took 2 months to fill, and contained 20 tons of paperboard. This was before Charleston County Recycling even announced they were accepting paperboard, and they filled this first truck with contaminant (which is what paperboard was classified prior to finding a vendor.)

That first fiscal year, they collected 43 tons of paperboard, and increased that amount to 220 tons in 2007. By announcing their acceptance of paperboard, and by providing information in their newsletters, the department has begun to greatly reduce to amount of garbage going to our landfills. But there’s still work to be done.

I constantly here from people that they were not aware this material is recyclable. Please help us spread the word. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. Be vigilant around your own homes. The picture above was what my family of four collected over a two-week period (click the image to zoom in.) I can’t believe we used to just throw it all away.

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