Utilities

Many different types of paper are recyclable at the curb in Cedar Rapids.  By following a few key steps, we can make a different by recycling our paper products in our CURBY carts.

What goes in CURBY:

  • Cardboard (flattening boxes will save space)

  • Newspaper

  • Junk mail (no need to remove plastic windows)

  • Magazines and catalogs

  • Office paper (no need to remove staples and paper clips)

  • Food and cereal boxes

  • Phonebooks

What stays out of CURBY:

  • Wet or soiled paper

  • Gift wrap

  • Tissue paper

  • Paper towels

  • Paper coffee cups

  • Paper plates with a wax coating

  • Shredded paper
As paper is recycled, the quality of the paper fibers degrade.  The fiber used to make paper towels, gift wrap and tissue paper is not good enough to turn into another product. 

Although some of the items noted above MUST go out as garbage, the following items can be placed into your YARDY cart for composting, which will help divert material from the landfill;

  • Paper Towels
  • Paper coffee cups
  • Paper plates including those with a wax coating

What happens to it?
Paper collected in Cedar Rapids is sorted at the City Carton Recycling Facility in Cedar Rapids.  The paper is separated based on the quality of the fiber.  Cardboard has the best quality fiber, followed by cereal boxes, office paper and then newspaper and phone books.   The paper is then shipped to facilities that will break the fiber in the paper down and turn it into new paper products.  Recycled office paper might become newspaper and recycled newspaper might become tissue paper. 

How does recycling paper make a difference?

  • Save Landfill Space. Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

  • Create Jobs. For every 15,000 tons of old newspaper recycled annually, 30 jobs are created to collect the paper, 40 jobs are created to process the paper, and 75 jobs are required to manufacture the newsprint.

  • Save Natural Resources. Making a ton of virgin paper requires 3,688 lbs. of wood, 24,000 gallons of water, 216 lbs. of lime, 360 lbs. of salt cake and 76 lbs. of soda ash. We then have to treat and dispose of 84 lbs. of air pollutants, 36 lbs. of water pollutants and 176 lbs. of solid waste.


Questions about recycling paper?

Call 319-286-5897

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