St. Paul’s recycling partner Eureka Recycling began accepting pizza boxes at the curb this past fall.
However, Paul Hieptas, St. Thomas assistant coordinator of recycling and central receiving, said the university has been recycling pizza boxes for years, and it’s not an easy process.
“We have a hard time with it because pizza boxes are contaminated with food particles and grease,” Hieptas said.
The St. Thomas recycling program attempts to compost everything that comes through and devised an efficient and eco-friendly way to dispose of the contaminated cardboard.
Hieptas and his team tear off the grease and food-stained pieces and then recycle the unharmed cardboard.
“We encourage people to be careful with what they give us. If it is heavily contaminated with food, then it probably is not recyclable anymore,” Hieptas said.
Juniors Alex King and Alex Bearson consume pizza multiple times a week.
“It’s quick, it’s easy and it hits all the basic food groups if you really need to,” Bearson said.
Now, students can help their appetites and the environment.
“If there’s a recycling can there, I’ll definitely choose that over a trash can,” King said.
Olivia Cronin can be reached at email@example.com.