This New Pizza Box Recycling Bin Aims To Keep NYC Rodent And Trash-Free This Summer

Photo: Central Park Conservancy


Even though the United States Congress has officially declared New Haven as the ‘Pizza Capital’ of America, many pizza enthusiasts, including myself, believe that New York has been cheated. If Naples is the global birthplace of pizza, I contend that New York is its American equivalent.

According to the New York Times, New Haven is home to more than 75 pizza-making establishments. However, do you know how many pizza parlors are in New York City? An estimated 1,600 to 1,800 spots, all offering beautiful round or square pies and triangular slices, using the city's best water to create superior dough adorned with delectable toppings. Thousands of enticing pizza options are available across the city, with their creations packaged in either generic cardboard boxes or the establishment’s fancy branded ones.

Now think of a time when you chose to be a hero for your friends or family, delivering one, two, or even five cardboard boxes filled with one of life's greatest edible pleasures. You came, you ate, you conquered. But then what? You likely crammed those lifeless, dense cardboard boxes into a trash bin by folding, tearing apart, or aggressively shoving them in there. Did you potentially make it harder for the non-pizza eaters to throw their own trash in the bins? Probably.


For years, there have been literal ongoing discussions on Reddit boards with people trying to search for answers and life hacks to this American pizza crisis. 

Photo: Reddit


But do you want to know who has come up with the most practical solution to date? Not New Haven, but New York City, baby. My fellow NYC pizza lovers, it’s time to ignore those useless round trash canisters. Starting this spring, the city’s Central Park Conservancy is testing a new pizza box recycling initiative: square bins with narrow slots where people can simply stop, drop, and roll out.

With an obscene amount of pizza spots in NYC, Betsy Smith, the conservancy’s president and chief executive, aimed to find a solution for the city's pizza enthusiasts. Near a popular picnic area behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this new pilot effort hopes to reduce the undeniable recycling mess and growing rat population in the area. 

The initiative's judgment day falls after Labor Day, when the conservancy will decide whether to install more of these $1,500 custom bins, each of which can hold about 50 pizza boxes, across the city. For the sake of New Yorkers, in terms of convenience, the litter crisis, and your furry friend dilemma — we Angelenos are rooting for you.