This is one of the many questions concerning reusing that often puzzles people. The simple answer is contact your local recycler and ask about its current policy for recycling packing tape. Certain tapes are recyclable while others aren’t.
Think about these three different policies:
Experts from your hometown of Chicago say, “It’s helpful to remove plastic packing tape from boxes but not necessary.”
But in Denver, officials suggest it’s not necessary to remove tape unless “the whole box is slathered.”
And in San Francisco, one expert said, “All tape should be removed.”
When you decide the most recent local policy, endeavor to pursue the standards thoroughly. For instance, cardboard boxes must be leveled, not simply stuck into canisters harum scarum. If the lid is not closed, this could result about getting the cardboard wet, which might decrease its value.
Random mixing of very different materials results in more recycled stuff getting exiled to the dump instead of being reused or repurposed. China currently declines to take a major store of US “recyclables” explicitly because residents were mixing very different materials
Amid occasional reviews of recycling bins in my own neighborhood I’ve watched a blend of plastic, paper, food, random slabs of metal, hoses, ropes, dead rodents, and unrecyclable plastic, often jumbled together in the same container, despite the fact that we have three very distinct recycling receptacles for paper, glass and metal cans and jars, and yard debris.