Skip to main content

Memphis corrugated recycling failure

All right, maybe not a "failure"  - more like a deficiency.  However sensationalist headlines draw in more readers, and since you may be my only one - I need all the help I can get.

Memphis seems to have OK recycling programs for a city in this region, although still not that great in general.  One thing that I found frustrating is the requirement to cut down corrugated.

The Memphis recycling rules require that all corrugated be cut down to smaller than 24x48 (inches).

The instructions are in a PDF file which is linked to from the Memphis Solid Waste Management recycling page.  As if making recyclers rip or cut every piece of corrugated wasn't annoying enough, their website can't even have simple instructions on one page but makes you download a separate PDF document with the corrugated instructions...

Since we recently moved, we of course have lots of corrugated.  I work from home, and my office faces the street - so the first week we were here I saw that the recycling people completely ignored our neatly broken down boxes in a pile next to our recycling bin.  That is when I went to the Memphis site to find out why, and read that our boxes - although they were broken down - were definitely wider than 24 inches.  This week, I cut all the boxes to smaller sections, and the recycling people took them all.   While I feel this is a stupid rule - as other cities have clearly figured out how to recycle boxes larger than 24 inches - it is not my main concern for this post.

My main concern is that it seems many residents don't know this (reality check, most residents probably don't care). 

Here is the problem:  the trash collectors are very good.  Back in Portland, if you left trash on the curb which was not in your recycling container or your trash container, the Portland trash collectors would leave it there.  Everything had to be in the containers (which were very large so there was lots of room).  Here in Memphis, the trash collectors pick up everything that is on the curb.  In our neighborhood they have picked up appliances, tree branches, you name it - they pick it up.

You might see where this is heading.

A resident thinks they are being all "green" by putting their corrugated boxes out to be recycled.  They head off to work or wherever, and the recycling people come by and ignore the corrugated because they are too large.  The trash people come by and pick up all the trash, including the corrugated, and send it off to landfill.  Then the residents come home, all the boxes are gone - so they think they must have been recycled and they are none the wiser.  Yay environment!

Heading in and out of our neighborhood, it appears that a LOT of people put out corrugated.  But I am sure most of them don't know that it is just being thrown in the garbage and taken to landfill.  Of course there is the real possibility that all those people don't care as long as it is hauled away - but I would like to believe that most people at least try to recycle as long as it doesn't take too much effort, and it seems like they wouldn't bother having the corrugated laid out in a separate pile if they were expecting it to just go to landfill.

So, in Memphis there may be a lot of people who think they are recycling their corrugated, but instead are simply throwing nicely organized piles of corrugated into the trash.

Hey Memphis, how about figuring out how to take a little bit larger slices of corrugated, or at least tell the garbage folks to not pick up the piles of corrugated on the curb...  

Till then, I'm fixin' to learn mah neighbors on how tuh slice up them boxes real neat like.

(How was that?  I am working on my Tennessee lingo...)


Adarsha Packaging is a Bangalore based manufacturer and supplier of packaging products. We provide customized corrugated packaging for different types of products and ensure high quality and safest packaging boxes.

Corrugated Box Manufacturers
Corrugated Box Manufacturer in Bangalore
packaging material manufacturers Bangalore
5 ply corrugated Box manufacturers
Corrugated Boxes


Popular posts from this blog


We had been looking at RVs for a long time, focusing mostly on class B versions.  Class B RVs are on van chassis and stay within the van footprint, as a result the Class B RVs are very manageable compared to their larger siblings.  Most Class B can be driven in cities, parked in normal spots, and genarraly fit into tighter situations than you would ever consider for a much larger Class A or Class C (when most people think of RVs they are usually envisioning Class A or C).
We decided on a 2017 Winnebago Travato.  We chose the 59g floorplan and waited for the 2017 1/2 models to come out with their few nice mid-year improvements.

Continued after the jump!

Wolf River Greenway - my thoughts

Out in east Memphis and northwest Germantown they have some greenway bike+ped paths along the Wolf River, called the Wolf River Greenway.  It is pretty nice, and I have ridden my bicycle along it's entirety.  It is still somewhat in two main sections, the Memphis section in the west and the Germantown section in the east.   The ultimate plans are to have them all linked together and connected to some other areas as well, although those plans seem like they might be a while to completion (if ever).

My thoughts on the Wolf River Greenway are mixed.


In October I bought a 2017 Triumph Tiger Explorer XRx.

So far I am enjoying this bike.  I have no connection whatsoever with Triumph other than I own a few of their motorcycles.  (Although if anyone from Triumph or wants to sponsor me I certainly wouldn't Turn them away.).

Here are pictures of my TEx out and about.

Northwest of Portland in the hills.

Lots more after the jump!