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Recycling Paper, Paperboard & Cardboard

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Recyclable PaperWhen it comes to recycling paper, almost anything goes as long as it is clean and dry.  Newspapers and magazines, copy paper and envelopes, cardboard of all types, boxes small and large--  all are considered valuable materials.  

A good rule to follow is:  if you can tear it, then it can be recycled.  This includes some items you wouldn't normally think about such as dry paper cups, empty boxed beverage containers (such as juice boxes), paper egg cartons, paper shopping bags, posters, wrapping paper, sugar and flour packages, paper towel and similar tubes, and even receipts.  Boxes of all types are also recyclable, from tiny jewelry and soap boxes to giant television and refrigerator boxes.

Click here for more information on cardboard.


Preparing your paper recyclables is easy.

Keep it dry by ensuring that it fits completely inside your cart with the lid closed or entirely in a public container.  

Cut it down to size, if necessary.  Flatten all boxes, no matter their size.  This will maximize space in each collection container.  For larger boxes, follow the detailed instructions below.  

Keep wet and sticky paper out.  This includes tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, wipes and sanitary products, as well as wet newspapers and mail, oily pizza boxes and take out containers.  The paper recycling process begins with a soaking in a special chemical.  Wet paper cannot absorb the chemical and must be discarded.

Paper food and beverage containers are recyclable, just choose carefully and be sure to empty them.  Milk cartons, juice boxes, and egg white containers are all recyclable.  Coated take out containers, such as those from Chinese restaurants, that have been emptied and rinsed are also recyclable.  Even the clean half of your pizza box can be recycled.  Just be sure there is no oil or cheese on it, please!

Bag shredded paper inside a paper bag.  To protect your identity, it is recommended to shred papers with personal information, identifying numbers or medical results.  Many office supply stores offer shredding services, and from time to time they are available at public events.  If you choose to shred at home, please discard of them properly.  Shreds emptied directly into a container are recyclable, but can create a litter problem during the transport process.  When the container is tipped by the truck, shreds easily get caught on the wind.  Please place shreds into a paper bag and seal the top by folding over securely.

Books are recyclable.  However, books can have a life long after you finish with them.  Please consider donating books to one of our Little Free Libraries, your local Broward County library, area schools and universities, charitable organizations of many types, and even to local artists.  If you must recycle a book, please remove any cloth bindings and covers before placing in your curbside containers.  Notebooks, scrapbooks, calendars, telephone books and coloring books are all recyclable.  Again, please remove any cloth or plastic parts.  

Please do not recycle stickers, laminated items, wallpaper, decals and tape.  The glues and plastics on them render the paper unusable.  

Recycling Large Cardboard Boxes

Most recycling collection in the City is provided by recycling trucks that have an automated arm to lift and empty curbside recycling carts efficiently. Drivers must adhere to strict guidelines and most often cannot exit their vehicles.  If recyclables, such as cardboard, are placed outside of the cart, they cannot be collected.  Yet, clean, dry cardboard is valuable recyclable material. So, what do you do with that cereal box, shoe box, printer box, and even refrigerator box? Please follow these guidelines.

Flatten all boxes, even small ones.

Cut boxes into pieces no bigger than 4 feet by 2 feet.

Place completely in the cart.  The cart must be able to remain completely closed to keep recyclable materials dry and prevent them from blowing out of the cart and littering the street.

Use Bulk Trash as a last resort.  If you have unusual quantities of cardboard or cannot transport it, please bundle and leave by the curb on your normally scheduled bulk trash pickup day.

For more information on disposal of cardboard boxes, please click here.

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