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laura-van-house-1-2-(3).jpgNow that the holiday season is officially over, many people may be staring at piles of cardboard boxes in their living rooms, garages and backyards.
By Tyler Midkiff
Larson Newspapers

Now that the holiday season is officially over, many people may be staring at piles of cardboard boxes in their living rooms, garages and backyards.

Since there aren’t a lot of stores in the Verde Valley, many people shop for their purchases online, and every delivery comes in a cardboard box that could be recycled.

Laura Van House, corresponding secretary at Sedona Recycles, is in the midst of a valley-wide effort to encourage more cardboard recycling.

The seemingly worthless material could actually bring some decent money into the Verde Valley, according to Van House.

In November, 2007, cardboard sold for about $130 a ton and paper for about $115 a ton, Van House said. Based on numbers obtained from Grey Wolf Landfill in Dewey-Humboldt, about $88,000 of recyclable goods are leaving the Verde Valley each week only to end up buried in the landfill.

Sedona Recycles typically processes about 90 tons of cardboard and paper every week, which Van House said is less than 15 percent of the total recyclable material generated in the Verde Valley. That leaves more than 85 percent of the material left to be shipped to the landfill and thrown away.

Recycling cardboard alone could make a huge dent in the amount of material ending up at the landfill, Van House said, and the proceeds from that material could help Sedona Recycles, a nonprofit, run more efficiently and divert even more materials from the landfill.

“We want to bring up an awareness with people,” Van House said — particularly with local businesses and development contractors.

Many residents drop their recyclables off at Sedona Recycles, but the businesses and contractors could bring in so much more, Van House said.

Everything comes in a cardboard box and it costs money to ship it all away to the landfill. With a little work, Van House believes local businesses could even save money on their disposal costs, she said.

It takes about an hour for a dumptruck to make its way from the Verde Valley to the Dewey-Humboldt landfill, and at costs of approximately $39 a ton to ship the garbage, Verde Valley contractors and businesses could save by dropping recyclables off at Sedona Recycles in West Sedona, Van House said.

Cardboard is also one of the few materials that doesn’t get shipped out of state to be recycled. Cardboard stays in Arizona, Van House said. A plant in Snowflake recycles it, which means fewer trees are hacked down to make more.

So, when people finally decide it’s time to walk to the trash with the boxes that once held their holiday gifts, they can take a few steps past the curb — maybe even drive — to a recycling dumpsite or Sedona Recycles and make a donation. It doesn’t cost a thing. 

Sedona Recycles is located at 2150 Shelby Drive. For more information, call 204-1185.


Tyler Midkiff may be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 122, or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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