News Flash


Posted on: March 6, 2023

Circular Ohio - Why Recycling Cardboard is Important

Paper and cardboard are everywhere, from our cereal boxes in the morning to the paper used at work and school; and not to forget the packages waiting at our doorstep! It would be tough to find materials we use more in a 24-hour period than cardboard and paper. Yet, consider these stats:

  • 30% of the materials in the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill are cardboard and paper products.
  • Despite being easily recyclable, it's estimated that over 320,000 tons of cardboard and paper products are landfilled by Franklin County each year. 

Corrugated containerboard, what many refer to as cardboard, is the single most recycled material in the U.S. But in central Ohio, cardboard is one of the top materials thrown away, after food waste. Magazines, newspaper and mixed paper aren’t far behind. The good news is that when we all do our part, those materials have some of the highest U.S. recycling rates. According to the American Forest & Paper Association:

  • In 2021, the recycling rate for cardboard was 91.4%.
  • The U.S. paper recycling rate has met or exceeded 63% since 2009.
  • More than 50 million tons of paper was recovered in the U.S. for recycling in 2021.

On a local level, we can do even more. That extra few minutes it takes to flatten and place those boxes in a recycling bin not only has a positive impact on the environment, but it generates a thriving economy where you live. 

Recycling Right Bolsters Ohio’s Economy

Greif, headquartered in Delaware, Ohio and Pratt Industries, headquartered in Georgia, are two companies that rely on our fibrous recyclables. Combined, both companies employ more than 1,700 Ohioans and play a significant economic development role in the Buckeye State.

With 10 Ohio facilities, Pratt Industries is a leading supplier of sustainable, custom packaging solutions. In 2019, Pratt opened one of the largest and most-advanced 100% recycled paper mills, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. As a company, Pratt produces more than 100-million boxes in Ohio every year.

Greif is a $6 billion global industrial packaging manufacturer and leading recycler in North America with nine recycling plants and papermills in Ohio. Greif produces 1.5 million tons of paperboard a year, 95% of which is made from recycled material. 

Greif and Pratt are just two of dozens of recycling-reliant companies in Ohio that buy, collect and sort wastepaper material. The material recovered from homes and businesses and diverted from landfills provide Ohio paper mills with the raw fiber used to make new products that range from new corrugated sheets and packaging boxes to tubes and cores for paper, plastic films, floor coverings, and more. Once these products fulfill their original purpose, the cycle begins again.

Ohio’s ability to sustain a vibrant recycling program has a huge impact on whether companies like Greif, Pratt and hundreds of other companies choose to continue doing business in Ohio. That sustainability can start with you. Take a few minutes to check out SWACO’s Recycle Right program, which offers easy tips to understand what is and is not recyclable, and how you can support Ohio's circular economy

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in SWACO News

Sustainable Back-to-School Solutions

Posted on: August 10, 2023


Posted on: July 20, 2023

Celebrating Moms and Mother Earth

Posted on: May 11, 2023

Make Your Next Event a Green One!

Posted on: March 6, 2023

Thankful for Food

Posted on: November 14, 2022

Election Sign Recycling

Posted on: November 2, 2022

It's Gourd to Compost

Posted on: October 26, 2022

The Ultimate Assist

Posted on: October 21, 2022

Circular Ohio - PET Plastics

Posted on: October 7, 2022

Sustainable Back-to-School

Posted on: August 18, 2022

Grant Spotlight: OhioHealth

Posted on: July 21, 2022

Plastic Free July

Posted on: July 21, 2022

Need Some Earth Month Inspiration?

Posted on: April 11, 2022

Celebrate Earth Month with SWACO

Posted on: April 1, 2022

Celebrating Recycling Success in Whitehall

Posted on: February 25, 2022

Green Up You Super Bowl Party

Posted on: February 11, 2022

A Sustainable Holiday is Easy to Achieve

Posted on: December 13, 2021

Recycle Holiday Lights

Posted on: November 23, 2021

Fall HHW Collection Events Scheduled

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Go Green, Save Green

Posted on: August 11, 2021

'Go Green' this Summer

Posted on: July 9, 2021

Go Green for Independence Day

Posted on: July 1, 2021

Making a Difference

Posted on: May 14, 2021

This Year, Make Every Day Earth Day

Posted on: April 22, 2021

Celebrate Earth Month

Posted on: March 31, 2021

Tips to Reduce Food Waste this Spring

Posted on: March 31, 2021

Grant Program Reaches New Heights

Posted on: March 4, 2021

Partnerships That Are Changing Lives

Posted on: December 4, 2019

Turn Your Yard Waste into Compost

Posted on: July 19, 2018