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How to Recycle Shredded Paper

Recycling shredded paper is an eco-friendly way to dispose of sensitive documents while reducing waste. However, the recycling process for shredded paper may vary depending on your local recycling program and the specific guidelines they follow. Here are general steps to recycle shredded paper:

  1. Collect and Store Shredded Paper:

    • After shredding your documents, collect the shredded paper in a paper bag or cardboard box. Avoid using plastic bags, as they can cause problems during the recycling process.
  2. Check Local Recycling Guidelines:

    • Visit your local government or recycling center's website to find specific guidelines for recycling shredded paper in your area. Guidelines can vary, so it's essential to know the rules in your locality.
  3. Separate Shredded Paper from Other Materials:

    • Keep shredded paper separate from other recyclables, such as glass, plastic, or metal. Mixing materials can make it more challenging to recycle.
  4. Container Recycling (Curbside Pickup):

    • If your local recycling program accepts shredded paper through curbside pickup, place the container with the shredded paper at the curb on your designated recycling collection day. Follow any specific instructions provided by your local recycling program.
  5. Paper Recycling Center Drop-Off:

    • If your recycling program doesn't accept shredded paper through curbside pickup, check if they have a drop-off location for paper recycling. Bring your bag or box of shredded paper to the designated drop-off point.
  6. Secure Bags or Boxes:

    • Make sure the bags or boxes containing shredded paper are securely closed to prevent littering during transportation.
  7. Don't Overfill Containers:

    • Avoid overfilling the containers with shredded paper, as this can make it challenging for recycling facilities to process the material properly.
  8. Remove Non-Paper Items:

    • Double-check your shredded paper for any non-paper items, like plastic or metal pieces from shredded credit cards or staples. Remove these items as they can contaminate the recycling process.
  9. Confidential Information:

    • If you're concerned about sensitive information in the shredded paper, consider cross-cut shredding (confetti-cut) for added security. You can also mix the shredded paper with non-sensitive materials, like old newspapers or magazines, to further obscure the text.
  10. Reuse Option:

    • Before recycling, consider whether you can reuse the shredded paper for packing material, pet bedding, or garden mulch. Reusing can be an environmentally friendly alternative.

Remember that local recycling guidelines may vary, so it's crucial to check with your local recycling program for the most accurate and up-to-date information on how to recycle shredded paper in your area. By following these guidelines, you can contribute to the recycling effort and reduce waste responsibly.