Can Shredded Paper Be Recycled?

Recycle,symbol,made,from,heap,of,shredded,white,paper,overCan Shredded Paper Be Recycled?

Shredded paper is a byproduct of document destruction and a common practice in many offices and households. But when it comes to recycling, can shredded paper be recycled? In this blog post, we will explore the potential of recycling shredded paper and provide insights into how it can be done effectively.

Understanding the Challenges

Recycling shredded paper comes with its set of challenges. The main issue lies in the nature of shredded paper itself. The small shredded pieces tend to get intermingled with other materials, making it difficult to separate and process them efficiently. Additionally, the small size and light weight of shredded paper can cause problems during the recycling sorting process, as it may get caught in machinery or mixed with other materials.

Recycling Options

While there are challenges, recycling shredded paper is still possible. Let’s dive into some of the options available:

1. Mixed Paper Recycling

Shredded paper can be recycled by mixing it with other types of paper. When combined with larger pieces of paper, shredded paper becomes easier to handle during the recycling process. By placing shredded paper in a designated mixed paper recycling bin, it can be sorted and processed accordingly.

2. Composting

Shredded paper can also be composted if it is free of any contaminants such as plastic or metal. The small size of shredded paper aids in the composting process by allowing it to break down faster. By adding shredded paper to your compost pile, it can help improve soil structure and retain moisture.

3. Animal Bedding

For those living in rural areas or owning pets, shredded paper can serve as excellent animal bedding. Its small size and soft texture make it comfortable for animals like small rodents, rabbits, and guinea pigs. This not only provides a second life for shredded paper but also reduces the need for purchasing additional bedding materials.

Effective Recycling Practices

To ensure shredded paper is recycled effectively:

1. Collect It Separately

Separate shredded paper from other recyclables and collect it in a designated bin or bag. By keeping it separate, the chance of contamination reduces, making it easier for recycling facilities to handle and process the shredded paper.

2. Avoid Mixing with Trash

Never throw shredded paper in the trash bin as it increases the chances of it ending up in a landfill. The small size of shredded paper particles makes them more susceptible to wind or water dispersion, leading to environmental pollution.

3. Use Paper Shredders with Recycling Options

When purchasing a paper shredder, opt for models that have recycling options built-in. These shredders often have compartments to collect shredded paper separately, promoting easy recycling.


While recycling shredded paper does present some challenges, it is still possible to give it a second life. By mixing it with other paper recyclables, composting it, or using it as animal bedding, we can effectively recycle shredded paper. To ensure successful recycling, it’s crucial to collect shredded paper separately and avoid mixing it with regular trash. By adopting these practices, we can contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Got questions about what to do with your shredded paper? Let us help! Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!