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Reusing and Recycling Packing Materials

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It is hard to imagine a move without plenty of packing materials, so it makes sense that you want to make a more “green decision” about which items to reuse and recycle. Corrugated cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, waste paper, and plastic bags are among the packing materials that can be either reused or recycled after your move.

Recyclable items

 You might have made garland out of disposable packing peanuts, castles out of cardboard, and a stress relief toy out of bubble wrap. If you have exhausted all of your options for reusing packing materials, then recycling might be your next step.

Recyclable packing materials include:
  • Corrugated cardboard boxes
  • Newspaper
  • Mixed papers
  • Plastic bags and boxes
  • Non-standard packing materials:
    clothing and magazines

Recycling steps

Depending on the city or town, in order to recycle, you may need to:
  • Separate your trash. You may be required to separate your daily trash from recyclable trash before taking it out for curbside pick-up.
  • Use different types of disposal containers. Different recyclable materials may require different trash receptacles, i.e. using plastic recycling bags instead of trash bins.
  • Stack and tie your papers. Corrugated cardboard boxes, magazines, and newspapers may need to be tied and stacked before recycling.
  • Clean your recyclables. Before recycling, be sure to clean packing materials like plastic bags and clothing.
  • Decide on recycling options. If curbside pick-up is unavailable in your town, you may have to locate a private company, or drop off recyclable materials at a recycling center.

Did you know?
According to a 2008 National Geographic blog titled, "Human Footprint – Our Trash Footprint," the U.S. will, "generate 246 million tons of solid waste" and "each of us will send 64 tons of waste to landfills over our lifetime."

There are alternatives to discarding your post-move packing materials. Reusing and recycling after your move will allow you to form a deeper connection with your new home and environment.

Photo by: Gastonmag (

  Posted by Patrick Hanan on August 27, 2009

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