BRISTOL, R.I. __ Until recently, pizza boxes have always been thrown into the trash but now, Rhode Island has changed it’s stance on the disposal of pizza boxes. According to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC), pizza boxes with minimal grease can now be recycled. Recently, any pizza box that had grease on the box would be considered “contaminated,” and would not be recycled. The policy change now allows a small amount of grease, sauce and cheese to be on the box and still consider it recyclable.
The average American pizzeria uses 55 pizza boxes a day and Classic Pizza and Grill in Bristol, R.I. estimates that they use around 150 to 160 pizza boxes on their busiest nights. With a large number of pizza boxes being used every night, it is important that they are disposed of in the most efficient way possible. The main issue with these new regulations is what makes a heavy or light amount of grease.
The Providence Journal recently posted what a small amount of grease actually is in their “Trash Tutorial” blog.
“What is a small amount of grease? This means no major discoloration of the box, no dripping grease, and the grease isn’t covering the entire bottom portion of the box. A few splotches of grease are fine, as are a few spots of sauce,” said Sarah Kite-Reeves in the blog.
Krystal Noiseoux, Recycling Program Manager at the RIRRC gave a more depth explanation about the process of recycling pizza boxes here:
The Providence Journal blog post about the updated recycling policy has gotten the word out there, but many Rhode Island residents are still not aware of the of how pizza boxes should be disposed of. Since the policy has continually changed over the years, many people, like Roger Williams University student Logan Birch, still think that pizza boxes should be disposed of in the trash.
RIRRC holds educational sessions on what kinds of waste should be recycled and how they should be recycled. What to do with pizza boxes is discussed at these sessions. With the change in regulation, only time will tell if Rhode Islanders will start to follow the change.