Communities: Steps to Take

Communities: Steps to Take

Food and beverage cartons are recyclable! Now that more than 60 percent of U.S. households have access to carton recycling, it is more important than ever to get on board.

Still don’t accept cartons in your local program? According to a survey of American adults we commissioned, the majority (65 percent) expect them to be recycled. Unsure how to begin adding carton recycling to your curbside program? Are you a facility that would like to start accepting cartons? The answers may be simpler than you think. The Carton Council can help you get started and begin diverting cartons from landfills, while also creating a new source of revenue from the sale of this valuable commodity.

If your community and/or facility already accepts cartons, we have materials to help you promote carton recycling to your residents.

Getting Started

The first step to adding carton recycling in your local community is reviewing the resources we have. Click here to find a step-by-step guide of how to add cartons to your community recycling program,, and here for adding cartons to your facility.

You can also reach out to our team at with any questions you may have. We have team members with experience in working directly with Public Works departments and/or public and private run facilities. They can advise you on how you can best add cartons to your local program or facility. If you are a facility, we can help identify how you can best maximize from sorting cartons.
By adding cartons to your curbside program, you can help divert more materials from the waste stream and create another source of revenue on the sale of recyclables. Plus, the addition of a new material to your program provides the opportunity to reinvigorate your community’s recycling efforts.

Make Sure Your Residents Know

Once food and beverage cartons are accepted in your facility and community, it is vital that residents are informed.  Research reveals that recycling is seen as a local issue and using a variety of local communications is most effective. The first step is to make sure cartons are included in the list of accepted materials on the city and MRF website and any other place that talks about what can and cannot be recycled.
The best way to communicate that cartons can and should be recycled is:

  • List cartons as a separate category, just like you would paper, plastics, glass etc.
  • Provide examples of products cartons are used for, including milk, juice, soup, broth, wine, etc.
  • Include images of various types of cartons

We have resources to help educate residents and promote carton recycling, including a toolkit of materials, a consumer friendly website where residents can find information and a series of engaging and fun communication materials.

Let Us know!

We want to know about your community’s carton recycling successes whether it is adding carton recycling to your community or promoting carton recycling to your residents. Let us know when you add cartons to your program so that we can be sure to add your community to the zip-code locator that consumers use to find out about carton recycling availability.