For eco-conscious types, recycling as much as possible is a no-brainer. However, many people mistakenly believe that a pizza box can be recycled right next to newspapers, printer paper, and regular cardboard boxes.

While pizza boxes usually do bear a recycling symbol, indicating that they are recyclable, this labeling does not take into account the greasy blotches and cheese smears that almost certainly linger on any used box. Usually made from corrugated cardboard, unused or clean boxes are perfectly fine to be recycled, but the food residue that lingers on most used pizza boxes makes them unsuitable to be recycled whole.These food residues can actually contaminate whole batches of the recycling process by causing spoilage or damaging equipment not meant to come into contact with oils. Therefore, putting boxes with food residue into the recycles can actually cause more harm than good.Parts of boxes that are free of oil or grease marks are okay to be recycled, as long as care is taken to ensure that they are clean and that the parts of the boxes contaminated by food residues are thrown into the trash.
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