Can You Compost Pizza Boxes? How?

pizza box in compost bin

Pizza is by far one of the most commonly found takeout foods in the world. It’s cheap, fast to make, and most people tend to like it (even if it’s only one topping in particular). One of the best things about pizza is that it comes in a simple, compactable cardboard box, so you don’t have to worry about plates or any other kind of washing up. But what exactly do you do with the box once you’re done? Is it easily recyclable? Or perhaps you’re wondering about composting it?

If you’re considering composting your pizza boxes, but don’t know how – you’ve come to the right place! In this article we’re going to take you through everything there is to know about composting big cardboard objects like pizza boxes. 

Is It Good To Compost Pizza Boxes?

Let’s first off answer our central question – it is completely fine to compost a pizza box, but there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. Composting is a great way to get over the hurdle of greasy or dirty parts of your pizza box. If there is too much food waste in your pizza box, then recycling facilities are unlikely to accept it to be recycled. 

So if you’re looking to properly and sustainably get rid of your pizza boxes, the best thing to do is to cut off the parts that are tainted with grease or excess food and compost them. If you still have some clean cardboard left then you can simply recycle this as you would with any other cardboard packaging. We’re going to go into this in more detail in the sections below. 

pizza boxes

Why Are Greasy Parts Of Pizza Boxes Not Recyclable? 

The greasy parts of a pizza box are not usually taken by recycling facilities, and this is because food items can cause a whole lot of problems for this. The grease that you’ll find in a pizza box is oil, and this is something that will be embedded into the very fabric of the cardboard, making it impossible to wash. So when recycling plants attempt to clean it and repurpose it, it can ruin the entire batch of what they’re recycling. 

Small bits of grease and food won’t be a problem, but if your pizza box is completely covered, and you’ve left lots of crumbs inside – it’s much better to turn it into compost. It’s also worth noting that some cities and areas will not accept pizza boxes as recycling – mostly due to the issue we outlined above – and in this case composting is also the better choice. 

In short, the best method you can use is to check your pizza box, see what is recyclable and what is not, and cut off the parts that are useless. You can then take all of the clean pieces and recycle them as you would with any other piece of packaging. 

How To Compost Pizza Boxes? 

Composting is the process where you recycle an object and compact it down into a fertilizer that you can use to help plants and soil. Whilst you may think of compost as something that is only done to food and other organic matter, it can also be done with cardboard, as it is naturally biodegradable. As soon as you soak cardboard, it will start to release the carbon trapped inside and can be a great addition to anything else you’re using to make compost. 

pizza in pizza box

In this small section below we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to compost a pizza box. Make sure to follow each step carefully so that you can make the most out of your waste.

Step 1 – Preparation

The first thing you’re going to want to do is completely clear out your pizza box. Make sure there is no plastic or any other non-organic material inside. After this, you’re going to need to cut the box up into smaller pieces so that they are more manageable. 

Step 2 – Use Your Composter 

Blend all of your cardboard together and simply add it into your composter. You might have to cut it down even further depending on the size of your equipment, but this step is fairly self-explanatory. Make sure you don’t use too much cardboard here, and that you balance it well with the level of organic matter you’re adding. 

Step 3 – Mix Your Compost 

You’re going to want to make sure you’re frequently mixing your compost to make sure that it creates consistent compost and that all of the cardboard begins to break down. Cardboard takes a little longer than organic matter to decompose, so expect a bit of a wait. The key thing here is not to add too much, but after a few weeks, you’ll notice that your cardboard no longer looks like what it once did and that you now have perfect compost. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! Cardboard from a pizza box is easily compostable, especially if you already have a composter. As a general rule, the clean parts of a pizza box are completely fine to recycle but make sure you cut away any of the excessively greasy parts to avoid running into issues with your local recycling facility. Turning cardboard into compost is a great way to be ethical and sustainable with your takeaway packaging, and can be extremely useful if you’re growing plants, crops, or anything else in your garden.

We hope that this article has told you everything you wanted to know about this issue and that you now feel a lot more confident about the whole thing. We wish you the best of luck with your future recycling, and that you get some rich compost out of it! 

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