6 Steps to Dispose Shredded Paper Properly

Tanya Thompson 2016-12-12 20:00:00

Shredding paper is the best and safest way to get rid of documents that contain sensitive information. Shredding those documents will make sure your information will never fall into the wrong hands.

But did you know that shredded paper was generally more difficult to collect and to recycle? Not all recycling centers accept it, and it often ends up as waste in the landfill. However, it’s still possible to dispose of shredded paper while doing your part for the environment. Here is what you need to know about paper recycling & shredding.

1. Avoid shredding paper unless it’s necessary

If you own a business, it’s probably best for you to implement a shred-all policy. This way, you will be certain to protect the confidential information of your employees and of your clients, as well as the reputation of your business.

At home, since shredded paper is more difficult to recycle, try to only shred the documents that need to be shredded, and simply put the rest in your recycling bin. There is no reason to shred ads or return envelopes that come with credit card offers.

2. Choose the right cut

While shredding your paper documents into confetti-sized pieces makes it impossible for anyone to retrieve your confidential information, it also makes it more difficult for recycling centers to recycle them.

Paper mills need long paper fibers to turn then into pulp that they can spread on their screens; small paper pieces often won’t stick to the screens.

3. Collect shredded paper in a bag

If your community accepts to pick up and recycle shredded paper, be sure to collect it in a bag before putting it out in front of your home. If possible, put them in a large paper bag, which can also get recycled.

If you simply put your shredded paper in a recycling bin, or if you forget to tie your bag, the shreds of paper will fly around, spread out, or get mixed up with other recyclables and become impossible to separate and gather again.

4. Make your own paper

If you are feeling crafty, you can use your paper shreds to create some homemade paper. All you have to do is mix paper shreds with water to turn them into a pulp, and to spread that pulp on a flat surface to let it dry.

You could go online to search for beautiful craft ideas made with homemade paper pulp. You could learn how to create unique gifts with your shredded paper. If you want to learn how to make your own paper, watch the below video from Daily Green News.

5. Put shredded paper in your compost bin

If you have a lot of confetti-sized paper pieces that no one in your area wants to recycle, you could simply add them to your compost bin if your community allows it. Shredded paper is a good source of carbon, and carbon is necessary to create quality compost.

However, before you put any shredded paper into your compost bin, try to make sure it is free of staples, plastic tape, and other non-compostable materials.

6. Choose a trustworthy paper recycling & shredding company

Of course, an even simpler way to safely dispose of your sensitive documents is to deal with a trustworthy paper recycling & shredding company that will shred them, and then make sure to fully recycle the paper shreds. For a shredding company, visit Shred-it Detroit for additional information and resources.

If you own a business, hire the right company to handle your paper shredding operations. If you simply want to dispose of some documents at home, search for a company that hosts paper recycling & shredding events in your community and bring them your documents to be shredded.