Charlotte to recycle pizza boxes

Life has become a little easier for pizza-lovers in Charlotte.

Those pizza boxes are now welcome in recycling bins, city officials say.

For years, the boxes were about the only form of cardboard not accepted for recycling. That is because the boxes contained grease and cheese residue, which are contaminants that interfere with the process of creating pulp in recycling.

“I also know there were people who went to the trouble of tearing off the top of the pizza box and recycling that – and then throwing the rest of the box in the trash,” said Charita Curtis, a spokeswoman for Charlotte’s Solid Waste Services.

She said changes in the way pizza is made and packaged mean the boxes no longer short-circuit the recycling process.

“For example, most pizza companies have gone back to the old way of leaving a buffer between the food and the box,” she said.

Curtis said recycling crews sometimes attached notices to the front doors of those who violated the policy. But not anymore, she said.

“We’re already hearing from people via social media,” Curtis said Wednesday. “And the response has been very positive. People are pleased.”