Watch CBS News

Westchester Taking In Mountains Of Cardboard Shipping Boxes

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Online shopping means shipping, and that means a blizzard of cardboard boxes going from under the Christmas tree to out at the curb.

Breaking down and shoehorning the boxes into one another is a chore, and many of the boxes have a familiar smile logo on the side, reports CBS2's Tony Aiello.

"Everybody and their mother shops at Amazon now, so there's definitely much, much more cardboard than there used to be," said Carmine Acocella of New Rochelle.

In Westchester County, most of it ends up at the material recovery facility where, over the last decade, cardboard has become king.

"We used to have 70 percent paper and 30 percent cardboard," said Vincent Kopicki of WC Environmental Facilities. "Now we're seeing 70 percent cardboard, 30 percent paper.

It all adds up to an estimated 37,000 tons of recycled cardboard in Westchester County last year.

Because of strict rules, recyclables there are considered very clean - in industry lingo, "uncontaminated" - so Westchester has no trouble selling the cardboard to paper mills.

Residents wish online shopping didn't generate so much of the stuff, and wonder why small items come in so much packaging.

"It's way too much," said Justin Carter of New Rochelle. "Way too much cardboard, way too much packaging."

Amazon and other retailers agree, so they're increasing the number of items that ship in padded envelopes instead of boxes and developing more compact packaging that's 100 percent recyclable.

Manufacturers are also working to reduce the amount of packaging to make shipments lighter and to generate less waste.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.