Shredded Paper
Can it be recycled?

Shredded Paper

Yes, in many cases. Some local authorities will accept shredded paper with your regular kerbside collections or at your nearest paper bank.

How should I recycle it?

Some local authorities will accept shredded paper together with your other paper items via your local authority’s kerbside collections or at your nearest paper bank. If so:

  • Make sure it is free of plastic.
  • Don't put it loose into open recycling boxes as it will blow away!

Other local authorities ask for shredded paper to be recycled in the cardboard recycling banks only. Check your local authority’s website, or give them a ring to make sure.

If your local authority does not accept shredded paper, then either don't shred it (if appropriate) or give it to a private company to dispose of.

Understanding shredded paper issues

Some local authorities will not collect shredded paper. This is because although, technically, shredded paper can be recycled, some paper mills cannot take it. There are two main reasons for this;

  • the average fibre length paper has decreases with shredding, and thus paper made from it will be weaker, and
  • shredded paper can be difficult to handle at the mill and depending on the equipment there, it can cause maintenance problems and fire hazards.

What else can I do with it?

Avoid it!

Avoid shredding your papers - unless you are worried about confidential information getting into the wrong hands. This will make the paper more easily recyclable.