How to Dispose of Shredded Paper Properly

When disposing of shredded paper, you have two primary options: you can throw it in the trash or put it in the trash compactor.

Whichever option you choose, you need to understand how shredded paper affects the environment and your sewer system. So, how do you dispose of shredded paper properly?

Shredded paper makes life a lot easier. For example, you can use shredded paper instead of packing peanuts to protect fragile items while they are being shipped.

Shredded paper also comes in handy for cleaning up messes. However, it’s important to know how to properly dispose of shredded paper.

Shredded paper should never be incinerated or placed in regular trash receptacles. This is because shredded paper can easily be mistaken for regular paper by trash collectors.

Instead, shredded paper should be disposed of properly by recycling it. Keep in mind that shredded paper cannot be recycled along with regular paper because it tends to jam the recycling machinery.

Therefore, shredded paper must be recycled separately.

How to Properly Dispose of Shredded Paper

Pick Up Service

While there may be a little cost, using a pick-up service is the best way to get rid of all your old documents quickly and conveniently without having to break a sweat.

There are many degrees of security when disposing of old documents, but it all starts with having a system in place for destroying and disposing of them once they become useless to you.

Most shredding services do the shredding for you, which gets rid of one of the problems that could happen if you put your documents in a regular trash can.

The mess that is made when tossing out those old documents and envelopes that you no longer want is a hassle for most households and businesses.

Multiple Trash Bins

Another technique to get rid of your old documents and records is by using multiple trash bins.

By having a lot of trash cans, it’s easy to get rid of the papers right away and in the right way.

Use It as Packaging and Stuffing

When it comes to using the old documents as stuffing and packaging material, it only makes sense to recycle them first since they can be reused for other purposes like packaging.

If you want to give a friend a present or something of that nature, you can recycle that old document of yours and put it to good use instead of letting it go in the trash.

If another person is willing, you can give them your used documents in exchange for something else that you need and want from them.

Another smart way to dispose of shredded papers is to donate them to a charity of your choice so they can recycle and use them for their own purposes as well.


Composting shredded paper is an environmentally sound way to get rid of it while eliminating it from landfills at the same time.

Paper supplies a carbon-rich supply for composting, and it can be used as a fertilizer in your garden and other planting areas after composting is complete.

There are a few steps that need to be taken in order to compost your paper, but it beats throwing it in the garbage or burning it in an incinerator.

First, make sure you realize that you’re not going to be able to burn the paper in a fireplace or woodstove because it contains chlorine and other chemicals that will ruin the burn and the air quality in your home.

Use It to Start a Fire

Shredded paper may also contain toxic chemicals that can catch fire if it’s left on the ground in the rain or snow for too long.

This strategy assures that all of your old documents are disposed of properly without polluting the environment with harmful chemicals that can wreak havoc on your health as well as the health of the environment.

You may save money in the long run because you won’t be throwing away as much trash on a regular basis, and you won’t have to pay someone to do it for you either.

Use It as a Pet Bedding

If you have a pet, you obviously need to keep your home clean for your pet’s sake.

Dogs and cats like to lie on soft surfaces, so you can put your old documents to good use by putting them in the pet’s bed.

Sometimes, they have a tendency to get furballs stuck in their throats, so it makes good sense to throw some of your old papers in their beds from time to time so that they don’t choke on the hairballs anymore.

For the time being, shredded paper may also be very useful when it comes to cleaning up after your pet has used the bathroom on the floor, and the bedding makes it a little easier for you to clean up all the mess that your pet has made.

Contact Your Local Recycling Service Center

Contact the recycling organization in your city to find out how to properly get rid of your shredded documents.

Check with your local recycling facility to see if they offer a paper shredding service that you can use to get rid of all of your old documents and paperwork once and for all.

Some areas may accept it if specific guidelines are followed regarding the size and type of documents to be shredded, but check with them first to make sure this is a viable option for you.

Can Shredded Paper Be Recycled?

While shredded paper is theoretically recyclable, it just isn’t very practical in most cases because the pieces are very tiny and tend to become mixed in with other materials when recycled.

When it is approved, it is usually needed in very large quantities so that it can be sorted properly into different categories before being sent to a mill for recycling.

This is done to make things as easy as possible for the workers at the mill, so that they can process the material more efficiently and get a higher return on their time and efforts.

While curbside recycling of shredded paper may not be practical for most people, there are still plenty of options that you can use to dispose of your old documents and get rid of them for good.

Also Read: Can Wax Paper Be Recycled?

Final Words

Personal and private documents are more than just pieces of paper; they contain information that should only be seen by you or people that you designate as legitimate recipients.

Because of this, even after shredding the papers with a home shredder or an office shredder, they are usually too thick to fit in a regular trash can.

This means that more sorting is needed, which can be a lot of work and raises the total cost of getting rid of the waste paper.

However, there are ways that you can dispose of it without adding to the cost of your household.

The easiest way is to use the services of a shredding company or a qualified individual to destroy it for you at a modest cost or for free.

One thing to bear in mind is that paper shredders should be cleaned often and oil should be changed on a regular basis, because both factors contribute to the longevity of the machine.