ANN ARBOR, Mich. (News release) -- Domino's Pizza Inc., the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, wants to increase the amount of pizza boxes entering the recycling stream. Domino's is launching a new feature on recycling.dominos.com that customers can use to look up their zip code for their neighborhood's status on pizza box recycling.
Corrugated pizza boxes are technically recyclable, and a total of 73% of the U.S. population is estimated to have recycling programs available for pizza boxes, according to a Resource Recycling Systems access study commissioned by WestRock in fall 2019. Due to confusion around the recyclability of pizza boxes, some consumers may not realize pizza boxes can enter their recycling stream. The look-up tool on recycling.dominos.com will use zip codes to provide consumers with a clear answer on whether they can recycle the pizza boxes at their home, or in communities they're visiting.
"We have heard a lot of excitement from customers about pizza boxes being recyclable. However, sometimes they were confused about their local regulations," said Jenny Fouracre, director of public relations. "This new tool on our recycling site should help to clarify the local regulations. We are also really happy to see communities nationwide communicating more clearly to residents that they do want pizza boxes in their recycling bins, instead of the garbage cans."
Suzanna Caldwell, recycling coordinator for Municipality of Anchorage Department of Solid Waste Services, saw news of the corrugated pizza box recycling study in late July. Caldwell reviewed the facts and decided Anchorage residents should be able to recycle their corrugated pizza boxes. She worked with her local recycling processor and waste hauler so that everyone in the Anchorage recycling stream was on board. She communicated the news that pizza boxes would be accepted to residents in August.
"We're always looking to accept more recycled material in Anchorage, and Anchorage also happens to be a bit of a pizza town," Caldwell said. "Immediately after announcing the pizza box recycling update to the Anchorage community, people reached out to express their excitement - some called it the best news of 2020."
If the recycling guidelines in a customer's area do not explicitly state the acceptance of corrugated pizza boxes, they should be updated to clearly state that empty, corrugated pizza boxes can be recycled like any other corrugated box. Domino's and WestRock are working with the industry to affect change and clear the confusion around pizza box recycling. Customers can help spread the word in their communities by sharing the facts found on recycling.dominos.com with their neighbors and their local recycling coordinator.
Domino's and WestRock are both members of The Recycling Partnership - a nonprofit dedicated to improving accessibility to and quality of recycling. Domino's, WestRock and a second box supplier, Pratt, partnered to fund The Recycling Partnership's development of materials for municipalities to update their recycling programs to include pizza boxes. The team in Anchorage used these free resources to help convert their programs to accept pizza boxes and communicate the change to their communities.