As the world increasingly goes online, soft-copy documentation has become the norm, and printing paper has taken a backseat.

However, digital-based file sharing may not be ideal for communicating sensitive or confidential information. At times like these, the most responsible way to take care of the document is to shred it right after perusing the contents.

Anyhow, a day of decluttering and getting rid of old newspapers, receipts, and notebooks around the house can lead to cardboard boxes full of shredded paper. And while it may seem like shredded paper can be recycled like regular paper, the reality is slightly trickier.

For the most part, local council areas accept them, but sending piles of shredded paper to recycling facilities may not always be environment-friendly. Read on if you want to know why and some sustainable alternatives you can consider.

Can You Dispose Of Shredded Paper In The Yellow-Lidded Recycling Bin?

Most recycling companies will accept large piles of shredded paper waste from professional businesses, government organisations, and other industrial units involved in large-scale shredding activities. Unlike the minimal amounts of shredded paper disposed of by private individuals, large piles are easier to recycle.

So, if you need to get rid of a few sheets of shredded paper, a recycling facility may not accept them. After all, tiny bits of paper filter through plastic containers or glass bottles, jars, and cans, causing contamination issues during the recycling process. In other words, they may escape the materials recovery facility or recycling facility(MRF) – a piece of sorting machinery used to prepare recycled products.

That said, it is best to avoid disposing of shredded paper in the yellow-lidded recycling bin. Instead, you can toss the scraps into the green-lidded bins reserved for food and garden organics(FOGO) waste. Apart from reducing odours and absorbing moisture, paper waste doubles as a carbon source when the contents of the FOGO bin is used as compost.

What Are The Different-Coloured Lids For In Australia?

In Australia, garbage bin lids are colour-coded to help residents identify the type of waste that they should dispose of in the bins. As a general rule, blue bins are reserved for paper recycling and suitable only for office paper and clean cardboard.

However, you can also dispose of these in a mixed recycling yellow bin along with other items, like glass bottles, empty aerosol cans, milk cartons, and coffee cups. And although green-lidded bins are meant for food waste, flowers, leftovers, and other organic matter, you can add shredded paper to absorb moisture and foul odours.

To dispose of soft plastics, such as biscuit packets, cling wrap, and bread bags, use the white-lidded soft plastic recycling bin. On the other hand, hard plastics and other landfill waste should go in the red bin. These include broken glass, disposable nappies, medical waste, lolly wrappers, other glazed wrappers, and plastic bags.

How To Recycle Shredded Paper At Home

1. Standard Recycling Bin

Most local councils may accept shredded paper in standard recycling bins, but the rules vary from area to area. That said, it is possible to dispose of shredded paper in a yellow-lidded mixed recycling bin and leave the recycling efforts to the rubbish removal company.

However, you must ensure that the shredded papers are not packed in a plastic bag. Indeed, most councils will require you to package the scraps in boxes made of paper, cardboard, or other recyclables before the team can collect the rubbish.

Although one of the most straightforward methods of recycling shredded paper, it may not be the most sustainable option as bits of paper may be considered as contaminants during the sorting process. On that note, waste materials packaged in plastic bags will probably be diverted to a landfill, if accepted at all.

2. Pack Fragile Materials

Instead of giving them away to a local rubbish removal service, you can use shredded paper for packing fragile materials in boxes. For this, you will need to lay out the packing material at the bottom of a box. Then, space out the fragile items you want to pack and fill in the spaces with more shredded paper to prevent any accidental bumps and damage.

So, if you need to send Christmas presents or store fine china but don’t have any bubble wrap lying around, shredded paper waste offers an ideal solution.

3. Add It To The Compost Bin

Shreds of paper can contribute carbon content to the food waste in a compost bin, providing additional nutrients to the soil. However, you must ensure that the bin consists of 25 parts paper to one part organic waste for a balanced carbon to nitrogen ratio.

4. Use It As Pet Litter

If you have a small pet at home, you can undertake a DIY project and use shredded paper as stuffing for a small pet bed. And because paper absorbs odours and liquids, you may add some of the leftover shredded paper to your cat’s litter or the floor of a hamster cage.

5. Attend A Shredding Event

Check if your state government is hosting any shredding event around your area. These events are generally open to all individuals and businesses, allowing them to get rid of shredded paper at no extra cost. However, you will have to transport the unwanted scraps and deliver them to the event location to dispose of them.

Final Words

Now that you know the risks involved, you will perhaps think twice before tossing shredded paper into a general waste bin. And apart from shredded paper, you can refer to this short guide any time you are unsure where to throw everyday household waste items.

If you are still confused about sorting rubbish according to the local regulations, consider hiring a rubbish removal and recycling business. Not only do you not have to worry about sorting out the trash, but the well-trained team will recycle shredded paper in the most environment-friendly ways possible.

So, call today for a free quote, and the recycling company will bring their services right to your door.