Are Sticky Notes Recyclable? (And Are They Compostable?)

Sticky notes are fascinating pieces of paper that come in different colors. A single wad of sticky notes can have as many as seven different colors, thereby presenting an appealing view. But they are not just appealing, they are quite useful too. They come in handy when you need to remind yourself about something; all you have to do is stick it on a surface you often come in contact with.

The big question is, what do you do with your sticky notes when you are done with them? Do you roll them up and throw them right in the bin? They are pretty small, so getting rid of them should not be a big deal.

Well, as opposed to what you think, it is. You may be thinking that sticky notes are relatively small, and so they would cause little to no damage to the environment. It is grossly untrue. Think about all the sticky notes you’ve balled up. If you put all of them together, you may be looking at what could have been a giant notebook.

In this blog post, we have come up with several ways for you to get rid of your sticky notes in an environmentally friendly manner. So please sit back, relax and enjoy the various tips we have cooked up for you.

Can you Recycle Sticky Notes?

We can understand why you might think sticky notes are not recyclable. For one, they are pretty different from the other types of paper we know. Another reason could be because they contain different colors. A third could be because of the gum attached to it, which gives it its sticky nature.

All those points are valid. However, they don’t matter. The short answer is that you can recycle sticky notes. Recycling is the most suitable way for you to dispose of your sticky notes. It’s made from paper, and there are downsides to disposing of paper the wrong way.

Throwing your sticky notes in the trash can be pretty harmful. Here’s how. The items in the trash go to a landfill and remain unattended for a long time. During this period, as the paper is biodegradable, microorganisms can begin their decomposition process.

When the decomposition of paper happens, methane, which is a harmful gas, would be released into the air. Now, imagine leaving paper just lying on the ground somewhere near your home. Again, you would be in danger of inhaling dangerous gases.

A way to go is to save all your sticky notes. First, get a dustbin dedicated to storing used-up sticky notes. Then, each time you’re ready to dispose of your sticky notes, you can gather them and take them to your recycling center. However, you have to ensure that they don’t get wet because it is nearly impossible to recycle wet materials.

You may be skeptical about recycling sticky notes, especially by combining them with other papers because of their colorful nature. After all, the endgame of recycling is to use the recycled materials again. The way this is combated is that the colorful notes are separated from other papers and recycled separately.

Are Sticky Notes Bad for the Environment?

Well, the short answer is yes. Sticky notes are harmful to the environment. Whether you have always been environmentally conscious or are just looking to be, we are sure that we have some information you didn’t know you needed. Enjoy!

Sticky notes, just like every other piece of paper, are bad for the environment. Therefore, they need to be disposed of properly. Paper counts as a biodegradable material, and they are materials that microorganisms can decompose.

When decomposition happens, harmful gases are released into the atmosphere. One of these gases is methane. Methane is one of the gases that contribute to climate change. So you are doing your part of protecting the environment by getting rid of your sticky notes the right way.

Are Sticky Notes Compostable?

One of the many ways to dispose of your useless sticky notes is to add them to your compost site if you have one. Paper is compostable material. It is also relatively easy for microorganisms to decompose.

If you are new to gardening, then we are pleased to tell you that you have the perfect method of killing two birds with a stone. Asides from recycling, composting your sticky notes is a way to get rid of them. The decomposed materials then serve as a fertilizer of some sort for your plants.

Here’s how it works. First, you can choose to cut the notes into tiny pieces to aid the decomposition process. If you leave them as chunky as they are initially, the microorganisms will take longer to decompose. However, snipping the notes into tiny pieces would speed it up.

One other method that works even faster is by soaking your sticky notes in warm and soapy water. The notes would crumble quite fast, and you can drain the water and plant those notes in your garden.

If you don’t have a garden, you must have one or two friends that enjoy gardening. You can choose to bring them your useless sticky notes when next you go visiting. We are sure that they would be moved by your thoughtfulness and willingness to contribute to their garden’s growth. They would also be helping you get rid of your useless sticky notes, so it’s a win-win situation.

Are Sticky Notes Biodegradable?

The biodegradability of a material is dependent mainly on what it’s made from. For one, materials made from metals are not biodegradable. But, typically, living organisms are biodegradable, which means that they can be decomposed or broken down into the tiniest particles by microorganisms.

The sticky notes we all know, love and find extremely useful is made from paper, and paper is made from trees. Of course, sticky notes are biodegradable.

Generally, materials that can decay at a relatively fast rate are considered biodegradable. In a very short period, microorganisms can completely break down sticky notes. So, if you have a substantial amount of sticky notes to get rid of, you can consider adding them to your compost site.

What can You Do With Old Sticky Notes?

Usually, recycling is the first thing that comes to mind if you are environmentally conscious and are looking to dispose of your unwanted products. But, of course, not all of them can be dropped off at your local recycling center.

Instead, you may need to have some delivered to companies that specialize in recycling materials. Sometimes, you may have to toss them in the trash can, for example, plastic cutlery.

However, there are other ways you can dispose of these materials. In this section, we would be talking about the different methods you can use to dispose of your sticky notes. We are confident we would fascinate you when you’re done, so relax and prepare to be mind-blown!

1. Paper- mâché

An excellent use for your sticky notes is for paper-mâché projects. Do you have kids around the house? Indeed, at one point or the other, they have come home with a paper-mâché homework. So please give them your colorful sticky notes when next they have homework like that and watch them get fascinated with the outcome.

2. Origami

Do you know what would be perfect for origami? You called it! Sticky notes would make a great origami maker. For one, they’re portable enough for you to work around. They are also very colorful, so you get to have as many designs and colors you want. So next time you have a couple of useless sticky notes, consider twisting them into origami patterns.


If you are an avid reader, then you can relate to picking up and putting down books you enjoy reading. It would happen multiple times because, unfortunately, you can’t spend the whole day reading, even if you want to. So how can you keep track of your current page?

Here’s one! You can use your used-up sticky notes. Instead of recycling them, you can cut them into one-inch strips and store them somewhere. When next you have to put down that book you’re engrossed with, you can pick one of the colorful strips and place it on the page you are currently.

Be sure to leave at least two inches hanging out, so you’ll be able to easily locate the page. The best part is, since sticky notes have multiple colors, you have multiple bookmark colors. We bet reading just became more fun, right?

4. Compost Materials

If you want to get rid of sticky notes without recycling them, use them as compost materials. When you buy your next batch of sticky notes, try to get an empty box or any other container you can use to store the ones you have used. Pile up these notes.

When you have used up all the new sticky notes, or at your next leisure time, you can plant the ones you want to dispose of in your garden. However, you would have to take time to cut them into tiny pieces to both hasten the decomposition process and prevent your garden from looking like a mess.

We have a fantastic tip to help make the decay process even faster. You can soak these sticky notes in water and add some liquid detergent. You can leave the bowl for a few minutes, then pour out the soapy water. The notes would have absorbed a considerable amount of water and would thus be quite soft. You can then proceed to bury it in your garden.

5. Coasters

Are you one of those who don’t like seeing water marks on your table? Unfortunately, water marks are pretty unavoidable; after all, you can’t keep wiping off condensation from your glasses, which is where your used sticky notes come in. So save yourself the money you would have used to buy coasters and use your sticky notes instead.

When you are done with your sticky notes, there would still be a substantial amount of adhesive on them. You can stick a bunch together to create considerable padding and use them as coasters. Now, you have saved some money and also found a way to deal with the irritating marks that liquids can leave on your table!

6. Decorations

You can use them to create decorations for kids’ parties. They are colorful and catchy, hence, they would serve this purpose well. What’s more? You can even get the kids to join you in making them. It would keep them occupied, and you might end up spending less on decorations for the party you’re planning.


Sticky notes are eye-catching and quite functional too. However, you can reuse only a few of them. So what do we do when our sticky notes have performed their purpose? We can’t hold on to them forever.

You can choose to recycle them or use one or all of the other tips we have provided you in this article. In the long run, you would be acquiring more beautiful things while also protecting your environment.


Share on:

About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.