Old Corrugated Cardboard Recycling

Corrugated Cardboard

There are a number of benefits to recycling Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) instead of discarding it. Recycling OCC conserves energy and water usage, while reducing the production of greenhouse gas and certain air pollutants like total reduced sulfur (TRS), volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and hazardous air pollutants (HAP). Recycling cardboard also reduces demand for virgin timber. It takes approximately three tons of trees to manufacture just one ton of virgin cardboard. It helps reduce waste tipping fees as well. The recycling of one ton of cardboard saves more than nine cubic yards of landfill space.

Old Corrugated cardboard (OCC) recycling is available at select buildings on campus. Each building in the program has a designated collection point, typically on the building dock at back side of building.

Participation is voluntary and designed to make our campus community more environmentally conscious. Those who choose to participate simply move their cardboard to a nearby building collection bin or dumpster marked for collecting old corrugated cardboard. To help promote recycling, each building has a recycling volunteer who serves as a liaison between the building occupants and the Recycling Coordinator.

Weekly pickups vary per building depending on the recycle volume. High volume buildings have collections multiple times per week. Low volume buildings may not have a collection point at that building and may be directed to move their OCC to a higher volume building collection point. See the online campus map for recycle locations.

Special Corrugated Cardboard Recycling Requests: Buildings that occasionally generate a high volume of recycle OCC, possibly due to a special event, can request one-time special collection of OCC by contacting the Recycling Coordinator. In most cases, the OCC will be picked up the next working day.

For this recycling program to succeed, it is essential that we have the cooperation of all building occupants in the removal of contaminates from the cardboard and the delivery of OCC to the designated collection point. Please review the OCC Recycling Guidelines and the list of contaminants both listed below to assist you in your OCC recycling.

We also ask that all cardboard be broken down when placed in cardboard collection bin or dumpster to make removal more efficient for the recycle contractor and for effective use of recycle container space.

To have your building location reviewed for OCC recycling, contact the Recycling Coordinator. We will assist in acquiring the following:

  • Assure volumes exist to justify collection at your building
  • Identify close-by OCC recycling point if volumes are too low
  • Approval/support from your building supervisor/recycling liaison
  • Support from staff handling refuse
  • Review if adequate space exists to serve as the storage and collection point
  • Provide a collection bin or dumpster
  • Assist you in determining the number of collections per week

Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) Recycling Guidelines

  • Voluntary participation by all building occupants is encouraged.
  • Old Corrugated Cardboard has the "waffle" between the two outer layers of paper.
  • OCC that has contaminants in it is not acceptable for recycling and that if removing contaminants is considered problematic OCC should be disposed of as trash.
  • Packing peanuts, Styrofoam, shrink wrap, and other such contaminants should be removed and bagged before and disposed in the regular trash.
  • Wood can be placed beside the trash dumpster and will be picked up for reuse.
  • Dispose of metal or plastic bands/strapping in trash dumpster.
  • Boxes to be recycled should be flattened especially if space limitations or volumes are an issue for your building. Flattening boxes will ensure the most space can be utilized in your collection containers and the least amount of overflow and airborne situations take place.
  • Boxes should be taken to the designated collection point (contact recycle coordinator for building locatons).
  • Collection frequency varies per building according to anticipated volumes (contact recycle coordinator for building locatons).

NOTE: To request a special OCC recycling collection or to permanently adjust a buildings collection frequency, complete a request for pickup form or contact the Recycling Coordinator.

OCC Contaminates - UNACCEPTABLE (sort out and put in trash or mixed stream)

  • Waxed boxes (such as meat boxes), dispose in trash dumpster.
  • Boxes with food residue, oil, or similar contaminants (such as pizza boxes), dispose in trash dumpster.
  • Chipboard/wetboard (such as cereal boxes, pop can boxes, poster board, tablet backs, or other non-corrugated materials), recycle in mixed stream recycling collection bins.

Visit our Request Form to have your cardboard picked up.

If you have any questions about cardboard recycling, contact the Recycling Coordinator.