Why can’t I put pizza boxes in my recycling bin?

You may be hosting or attending a Super Bowl party on Sunday. After you've consumed all your food and drinks, you may wonder how much of your party trash can be recycled.

There's quite a bit that can be recycled, but also some surprising things you won't be able to recycle. Pizza boxes for example. While pizza's a staple of Super Bowl parties, the city of El Paso's Environmental Services Department says you shouldn't put any used pizza boxes in your blue recycling bins.

The boxes are made of cardboard, so what's the problem? Recycling experts say it's all the grease produced by the cheese and other ingredients on the pizza.

You know the old saying, “Oil and water don't mix.” When paper-based products are recycled, they're mixed with water to create a slurry. The grease from pizza boxes will cause a layer of oil to form on top of that slurry, which means the paper fibers cannot separate from the oils during the pulping process.

That means pizza boxes need to go in your regular trash bin, along with Styrofoam products and glass.

Here's what can go into your recycling bin after the Super Bowl: aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cardboard packaging, as long as it wasn't holding any greasy food.

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