Takeout Containers (Cardboard)

Put in Organics/Compost

Unless lined with plastic, paper and cardboard takeout containers are compostable and belong in the organics. Make sure any plastic items are removed and placed in the garbage. 

Please do not put food-soiled, plastic-coated, or wax-coated paper takeout containers in the recycling. They are not recyclable and will contaminate paper that is.

Plastic-coated takeout containers belong in the garbage.


Compost Dirty Containers

Soiled cardboard takeout containers can be composted in your backyard. Find out more about how to compost cardboard from Gardening Know How.

Ways to Reduce


Bring Your Own To-Go Container

When dining out, bring a reusable to-go container so that you can bring leftovers home sustainably.

Reusable Packaging For Businesses

Check out Upstream’s catalog of reusable packaging and unpackaging innovators that provide ways for consumers to obtain products, mostly food and beverages, in returnable, reusable, or refillable packaging – or they deliver products to consumers unpackaged altogether.

Did You Know?

The Preferred Takeout Container

Out of all the types of takeout containers — aluminum, cardboard, wax-lined paperboard, plastic and foam — aluminum is the easiest for recycling plants to recycle, while foam is the most difficult.