COMMENTARY: Please recycle your boxes this Christmas season

by Dec 11, 2014OPINIONS0 comments





Bill Nye “The Science Guy” once said, “If you want grown-ups to recycle, just tell their kids the importance of recycling and they’ll be all over it.”

I agree, and this time of year kids can be especially important in the recycling process.

According to, “Over 75 percent of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30 percent of it.”

The one thing we don’t want to see on Dec. 26 is a slew of cardboard boxes next to trash cans.  We want to see them in recycling containers here in Cherokee.

One person or one family really won’t make that much of a difference, but if everyone on the reservation recycles their cardboard boxes this Christmas season, the impact can be impressive.

“Recycling one ton of cardboard saves 390 kWh of energy, 1.1 barrels (46 gallons) of oil and 6.6 million Btus’ of energy,” according to the Waste Management website.  “Recycling one ton of cardboard saves over nine cubic yards of landfill space.”

Recycling of paper and paperboard products is improving in the United States though.  According to the EPA, there was 68,620,000 million tons of paper and paperboard waste generated in 2012.  A total of 44,360,000 million tons (64.6 percent) of that was recovered as opposed to the 54.5 percent which was recovered in 2007.

Here is a list of recycling locations, provided by the EBCI Recycling Program, in Cherokee where you can recycle your cardboard boxes this season:

Monday – Friday

Painttown – old IGA parking lot

Big Cove – KOA ponds

Wolfetown – Wolfetown Gym

Yellowhill – old courthouse parking lot


Friday – Monday (weekends)

Birdtown – Birdtown Community Building

Tow String – Tow String Road

Big Y – Big Y gym

Yellowhill – old courthouse parking lot