Unwrapping holiday recycling in Amarillo

Wrapping paper and boxes littering the living room on Christmas morning is a quintessential holiday staple - but it also leads to a lot of leftover cardboard.

During the past holiday season, 14,280 pounds of cardboard were collected and recycled from Nov. 26 through Jan. 2, according to the City of Amarillo. This was due to the city's recycling partnership with KB Recycling and local businesses.

A major purpose of recycling is to reduce waste in landfills, but recycling wrong items is a huge issue during the holidays.

“I think the biggest thing to do is once you’ve opened all your presents, and cleaned up all the packaging, is take your boxes and breaking them out flat,” said Adam Schaer, general manager of KB Recycling.

Get a stack, get in your car, and drop them off!

“Styrofoam, we don’t want in the dumpsters. Bubble wrap, we don’t want in the dumpsters. The packing peanuts, we don’t want in the dumpsters. These are items that don’t go with the cardboard. When we get those things, we have to physically pull all that stuff along with all the trash,” he said.

Schaer says the biggest issue is people putting contaminants into these recycling bins.

ABC 7 News asked him if there is an issue here with a generous amount that ends up in our landfill, or things that could be recycled, but aren't.

“Really its cardboard and paper, things that we already recycle that people in town either don’t know about or are choosing not to recycle at this time,” said Schaer. “There’s more than people realize, I mean even the dumpsters on my alleyway, I see people constantly throwing cardboard in.”

Almost everything, in theory, is recyclable, but KB can't handle all materials. Shaer gave a few examples.

“Plastics, but we can’t do most of that right now. Fluids, we don’t do recycling on. Glass, we don’t do recycling on because there isn’t a good home for that stuff,” he said.

So what CAN go into dumpsters?

“Any real fiber product for the most part as long as it’s not nothing with a lot of plastic or food waste. Pizza boxes are food waste, so the mills don’t like receiving those,” he ended.

If you have questions about what isn’t recyclable, give KB Recycling a call at 806-418-4390, or visit the City of Amarillo's website.

These are the locations for cardboard recycling provided by KB Recycling in the City of Amarillo:

  • Amarillo Civic Center, entrance 8, downtown parking lot.
  • Sam’s Club, 2201 Ross St.
  • Sam’s Club, 8952 Westgate Parkway.
  • Bentley & Associates, 7148 Bell St.
  • St. Hyacinth Church, 4500 w. Hills Trail/Amarillo Blvd.