Of all the tasks associated with moving, one we find most overlooked is what to do with your leftover packing materials. The truck is gone, the kitchen items and other breakables have been unpacked, and you look over at the pile of cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts and paper and think, “Great, I hope we have a lot of trash cans out back!”
STOP! Most modern packing materials can be recycled, and many neighborhood waste services will take bulk pickups. Before tossing everything into a trash can, contact your local waste service and find out their bulk schedule. If possible, try to schedule a pickup in advance and coordinate with your moving plans.
If you don’t mind taking a trip to a local recycling center, be sure to include any bubble wrap, which can be recycled with other plastic materials. And while styrofoam packing peanuts typically cannot be recycled, many recycling centers will accept them and find a responsible use for them.
But if you’re in a hurry to get the materials out of your new residence fast, the best bet can be a local classified section such as with the online newspaper or craigslist.com. Many people will look there first for free packing materials, so just list what you have and that it’s all free to whomever wants it. Do not post your new address online, but do make arrangements for the materials to be picked up.
Packing materials can pile up quickly with a move, but there really is no need to throw them into the garbage when just about all of it can be reused in some way. If you’ve just moved or are about to, try to think ahead and include recycling of packing materials in your moving plans.