How One Company is Trying to Fix a Cardboard 'Tsunami' This Holiday Season

Mountains of empty boxes are piled high at recycling centers across the country due to consumers' ever-growing appetite for online shopping. Cyber Monday alone smashed previous shopping records, as retailers reported $9.2 billion in sales.

Kreigh Hampel is the coordinator at a recycling facility in Burbank, California, where more and more workers are being brought in to deal with what he called the state's "cardboard tsunami."

The recycling facility undertakes the important task of separating heaps of cardboard from other trash. Though the sorting occurs year-round, the influx of cardboard increases considerably during the holiday season, he said. 

“Cardboard for us really comes in heavy between thanksgiving and just after the holidays especially but leading up to that, there's a great increase in cardboard.”

He says part of the problem is due to the way packages are shipped.

“We're packaging things twice a lot of times,” Hampel told Inside Edition. “First it gets packaged from the manufacture to the warehouse. It's un-packaged there put in anther box and then sent again to someone’s home.”

The good news is he says cardboard breaks down easily and can be reused. It's sent to mills where the cardboard is put into a giant vat and melted down to an oatmeal like substance. Then it's rolled into a paper sheet and can made into a cardboard box again.


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