Paper Shredding: Tips and Recycling info
Shred Recycling Guidelines
Please NO: "Neon," Fluorescent, or Dark-Colored Papers, Newspaper or Cardboard, Kraft® or Goldenrod (orange-brownish envelopes), Stickers or Sheets of Address Labels or other non-paper material.
Quick tips for the careful “shred” recycler:
1. Spare the shred. Please avoid shredding paper whenever possible. Shredding shortens the paper fibers and therefore cuts the recycled life of paper in half.
2. Shred paper only, no plastic. Be careful not to include items like faux credit cards made of plastic, promotional stickers or sheets of address label stickers.
3. Rip it, don’t shred it. Instead of shredding, consider ripping off sensitive elements of your documents (bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc.) and shredding or ripping only those parts, leaving the rest of the page whole and recycling it with your single-stream recycling.
4. Mark it, don’t shred it. Another alternative to shredding is to simply black out sensitive information with a permanent black marker, taking care to mark both sides of the paper if the content is still visible from the back. You can then recycle the paper whole in your single-stream bin.
Problems with Recycling Shredded Paper
In the age of identity theft, shredding confidential documents has become an important safeguard of privacy. But shredding paper isn't great for the environment and recycling for three reasons:
Eco-Cycle recommends minimizing the amount of paper you shred, at home and at work, by following these simple tips:
If you must shred paper, set your shredder to the thickest width so your confidential information is illegible, but there is more intact fiber. Shredded paper should be taken to the drop-off center. Paperboard is a much lower-grade category of paper fiber, which is more appropriate for shred, and we don't run it over the screens at the recycling facility; it just gets bailed directly from the collection bin. Because of its low value, we pay to have it recycled. Shredded paper is NOT acceptable through curbside recycling.