Police say the 14-year-old ran away from a boot-camp-style school for teens Monday and hid in a recycling bin filled with cardboard.
The bin was picked up by a Waste Management truck and dumped into the vehicle's rear compactor.
Waste Management spokeswoman Lynn Morgan says the truck continued on its collection route, compacting cardboard several times.
The boy wasn't discovered until the truck dumped its load at a recycling processing center.
He was semiconscious and was taken to a hospital, but police say his injuries aren't life-threatening.