Can You Put Shredded Paper in the Recycle Bin?



If you are both safety conscious and environmentally conscious you will want to shred private files and then recycle them.

Unfortunately, paper shreds cannot be placed in the recycle bin. If you put shredded paper in your recycling bin, it will almost certainly end up in a landfill.

Why Can’t Shreds Be Recycled?

Sorting Recycled Materials and Paper ShredsMost recycling centers don’t accept small strips or bits of paper. Large scale recycling facilities use massive screens to dry pulped paper on, and small paper bits don’t stick well and can fall through the screens.

This creates a difficult conundrum for those who want to keep their private information secure while reducing their impact on the environment, but there is a solution.

What Happens When I Recycle Paper Shreds?

If you put paper shreds in a recycle bin, they will most likely end up in a landfill. Everything placed in recycle bins is sifted through and separated out into plastics, papers, metals, and items that can’t be recycled—including paper shreds.

Materials roll along large belts and paper shreds easily fall off into piles of non recyclable items. While some recycling facilities accept paper shreds if they are properly bagged, not all of them do, and if they are not properly bagged they are picked off by workers looking for non recyclables.

How Can I Recycle Shredded Paper?

While recycling centers typically don’t take a few sheets worth of shredded paper from individuals, large scale shredding operations produce large bales of shredded paper that recycling facilities can manage.

bales of shredded paper

When you use a professional shredding service, your shreds will be recycled.

There might be a misconception that shredding services are only for large scale shredding projects, but if you just have a few sheets to shred you can safely drop them off at thousands of locations throughout the U.S. for around $1 per pound of paper.

If you have large of amounts of paper to shred on a regular basis, there are shredding options that allow you to pay a fee and have as much paper as you want picked up and shredded at an offsite facility on a regular basis.

Find a Shredding Solution That Allows You to Recycle the Shreds

Shred Nations partners with shredding professionals around the country, and we are here to help you find the solution that best meets your needs.

Whether you prioritize speed, security, cost, or environmental concerns, we will help you find the best shredding service in your area.

Call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form on the right for a free quote on shredding services near you.