Hi Renee:

We have paper recycling at work for copier paper, bulk mail, catalogs and cardboard, but what should we do with our bits from our cross-cut paper shredder? Since we got the shredder I have 3 large garbage bags full and don’t know what to do with them.


I shred some documents and then every so often, when the shredder is full, I dump all the shreds into the recycle bin. Based on your answer below I’m assuming that’s not a good way to get it recycled. Is that true? Would putting them in a bag be better? Or are paper shreds not recyclable?



I often put out shredded paper in big bags. If I can’t put it in a paper bag, I have to put it in white plastic garbage bags. They seem to take them, but I wondered if it’s ok, since they only take plastic that’s labeled 1 or 2? Can it be separated or do they just put it in the trash??



Hi Robin, John and Mary,

Your questions all came in shortly after we posted what happens if you place a non-recyclable item in with recyclables.

While I’d like to do further research on this topic, I don’t want to delay my initial findings any longer. A conversation with a customer service rep at Republic informed me that shredded paper in fact is NOT allowed in your blue and yellow curbside recycle bin.

I know! I was shocked too. I mean, if they accept regular paper, why not accept it in its shredded form???

So, for now, I guess my best solution is to seek out a paper shredding service or take your bagged paper shreds to a collection site or recycling center like RecycleForce.

Stay-tuned – if I learn more, I’ll pass it along!

Piece out,


Tagged with:  
Share →
  • Monique

    You can bag shredded paper and put it in the yellow and green Paper Retriever bins. Schools and libraries can get money for these bins so you might consider that when dumping.

  • Tim

    I take home the bags of shredded paper in our office and use it as bedding in our egg laying hutches for our flock of 70 hens. It is very absorbent and after 7-10 days I clean it out, add it to the chicken manure compost pile and after a few months it heads to my garden to go around my tomato plants, pepper plants and anything else that needs a balanced fertilizer blend. Nothing goes to waste on the farm!

  • daylily

    I put mine in my compost bin. It’s great for that. In the past I have put bags of shredded paper in the yellow and green container (can’t spell the name). I had not checked to see if that is accepted so quit doing that.

  • slheider

    The reason that you aren’t supposed to recycle shredded paper is because it will clog up the recycling machines as they sort things. I received this explanation from the wife of someone who works for Rays Trash & Recycling. I had expressed concern about Styrafoam (clean stuff from computer boxes) and not being able to recycle it. She said it was okay to toss it in either the trash or the recycling because they sort thru absolutely everything even the trash and pull out anything that can be recycled.. I then asked about the shreds and she explained it would clog the machines. My solution is to rip off the parts of a document that I absolutely must shred (with SSNs or other personal info) and put the non sensitive part of the page into the recycling bin.


    I am looking for clean shredded paper to use as equine bedding.

© 2013 Indiana Living Green. Terms of Use