For many, pizza is one of quickest, easiest, and tastiest meals on the planet. Whether it’s for an evening meal with your kids, or for a dinner date with your significant other, it’s hard to deny that pizza makes for an easy meal with an even-easier clean up.
With pizza generally being sold in cardboard boxes, you might be curious as to where all this cardboard ends up. Can pizza boxes be composted? Clearly, the less we send to a landfill, the better.
The short answer is yes, pizza boxes are compostable, as long as they are made with corrugated cardboard and not coated with wax, which is generally the case. Let’s take a closer look at what this process involves below, as well as a couple of other options for your used pizza boxes.
What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of a Pizza Boxes?
After you’ve emptied your pizza box (easy, right?), you have a few options to dispose of it.
1 – Throw It Away
Unfortunately, one of the most common destinations for a used pizza box is the dumpster. This is the least-appealing option for those of us who are environmentally conscious, but it requires the least amount of effort.
If you’re reading this article, I’m guessing you’re more interested in options #2 and #3.
2 – Recycle It
Believe it or not, your pizza box may be safe to put in your recycling bin. This really depends on the levels of contamination on the cardboard.
Corrugated cardboard itself is safe to recycle, but to recycle a pizza box, you need to remove any bits that are soiled with grease or heavy food particles.
The reason you can’t recycle the greasy parts of a pizza box is that during the recycling process, the recycled material is mixed with water. As you probably already know, water and oil don’t mix, meaning the end product will not produce the desired result, likely leading to a rejected batch.
3 – Put It in Your Compost Pile
Your safest bet for disposing of a used pizza box is to put it in your compost pile. If it’s not clear by now, yes, pizza boxes are compostable, and this even includes the greasy parts and any food left inside the box (does this actually happen!?).
This of course assumes that your pizza box is made of corrugated cardboard, like most pizza boxes, and does not have a waxy coating. If your pizza box doesn’t quite fit the standard mold, you might not achieve the desired results in your compost pile.
How to Compost Pizza Boxes
Composting a pizza box doesn’t require too much effort on your part. First, you’ll want to make sure you break it up into smaller pieces, especially the greasy pieces of cardboard.
Next, create a base layer with your carbon-based cardboard pieces, followed by nitrogen rich materials and top soil.
Finally, turn your compost pile regularly (every few days) to improve the rate of decomposition. It will take several months, but if done right, you’ll end up with garden-ready compost.
If you’re like me and thought you had no other option than to throw away your empty pizza boxes, think again. While recycling may or may not work based on the greasiness of your pizza, you always have the option to add your pizza boxes to your compost.
Adding your empty pizza boxes to your compost pile not only keeps them out of the landfill, but also improves your compost, which can later be used in your garden. Sounds like a win-win to me!