It's something everyone thinks can be recycled, but can't. In fact, it's ruining all of the other recyclables in your bin.

We've been taught that it's ok to recycle anything that is made out of metal, plastic, paper or cardboard. While some items are in a bit of a gray area (magazines?) there are some recyclables that we just know belong in that green bin.

Newspapers, glass bottles, aluminum cans and cardboard boxes all belong in the recycling bin, right? Well, no. In fact, there's one popular cardboard box that everyone recycles that's actually contaminating everything else in the recycle bin.

It turns out that pizza boxes are responsible for setting back recycling efforts in many communities across the Hudson Valley. While they're made completely of cardboard, they should never, ever be put in the recycling bin.

Pizza boxes have become such a problem that the City of Kingston has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the problem. While the boxes themselves would be fine to recycle, it turns out that they become a contaminant the moment they're filled with pizza. Grease from the pie, no matter how little you see on the cardboard, renders the box completely useless for recycling. The oil in that cardboard box ruins any other recyclables that are mixed in with it, taking all of your hard work and good intentions and throwing them into a landfill.

The City of Kingston has gone so far as to partner with local pizza shops to include stickers on their boxes, warning residents not to recycle their boxes. Pie for the People, Vincenzo’s, 440 Pizza, Broadway Pizza, Savona’s Plaza Pizza, Savona’s Trattoria, King’s Pizza Restaurant, Tony’s Pizzeria and Kingston Bread + Bar will all include information for their customers on the dangers of recycling pizza boxes.

So, the next time you order a pie, be sure to toss that box in the garbage. The earth (and your local recycling plant) will thank you for it.

12 Things You Should NEVER Recycle

While many people already know that recycling is good for the environment, they may actually be putting the wrong things in their recycling bins. Here are 12 items that most people think are recycled, but are usually just discarded into the trash at the transfer station.

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