Can You Recycle Shredded Paper?

For decades, documents have proven to be useful in your everyday activities. And that’s both at home and in the offices. Even more, it is sometimes a sensitive medium where you store and record important information.

However, like most things, there comes a time when paper becomes less relevant. In some cases, you just need to get rid of it to protect your sensitive information from leaking. Well, we wouldn’t blame you. There’s so much going around about data and information theft.

Well, that’s where shredding comes in. It allows you to do away with those paper by ripping it into pieces. So, here’s the new thing. We have got to reduce the waste that’s around by recycling.

So, are you wondering what this all about? Do not worry, we have got you covered. In this article, we’ll answer the question, can you recycle shredded paper.

Let’s go!

Is Shredded Paper Recyclable?

Well, luckily for you, you can recycle shredded paper. You do not have to worry too much about having shredded waste all around. You can quickly put your paper to good use and recycle.

Although it sounds all complex and farfetched, it is quite simple. There are various ways that you can recycle it. And the great thing is that sometimes you can do it yourself. Of course, with the right equipment.

So, are you wondering how? Do not worry. We’ll get to it.

How to Recycle Shredded Paper: Step-by-Step Process?

Recycling shredded paper may prove a bit knotty if you are doing it at home on your own. The better way is to pack your shredded paper in some transparent polythene bag or some paper bags.

Then, you locate a nearby local recycling company and drop it off for some cash. Yes, for money. You get paid by the pounds of your paper. So, the more you have, the more you make. Great right?

Most local recycling companies pay you by the pounds of your paper. The more pounds of shredded paper you have, the richer you become.

However, we understand that you just might be wondering how it gets done. Do not worry; we get it. Here’s a step by step process of how to recycle shredded paper.

Step 1: Sorting

Papers are not all made with the same quality or level of fiber. So, before recycling them, you have to sort them out.

This involves sorting out the ones with glossy fiber or polymer or paper stained with food substances from the rest. You also have to watch out for metals, plastic material, or pins.

Step 2: Bagging

Because of their small sizes, you’ll need to bag the shredded papers in either polymer bags or paper bags.

Step 3: Transporting

Now you are sure that there are no particles that can hinder the smooth recycling of the shredded paper. So, you can begin to transport them for safekeeping if you are not ready to shred them. You can, however, move them to the pulper machine if you are prepared to shred them.

Step 4: Pulping

Pulling is the process where the shredded paper is chopped into tiny bits, heated and made into a mush.

Step 5: Screening

In this process, the shredded paper is already made into mush pushes through screens with varying degrees and shapes of holes.

Step 6: Cleaning

Again, the mushed paper is cleaned and spun to remove heavy particles from the content.

Step 7: De-inking and Washing

This process requires the removal of ink from the mushed paper. Depending on the paper, it might require some bleaching. The removal of strong adhesives is also possible in this process. After this, you might need to wash to eradicate the ink on the paper.

Suppose there are more sticky particles, you might want to consider using the floatation process. And this involves putting the mushed paper into the floatation vat, and add surfactants. With this, ink moves with other air particles and removes itself easily.

Step 8: Bleaching

Depending on the purpose of the mushed paper, it is advisable to use bleaching. If white papers are the end product of the mushed paper, you need bleaching. Use a combination of hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, and oxygen to do this.

However, if the mushed paper involves the making of cardboards, then no bleaching is required.

Step 9: Rolling

In this process, you spray the mushed paper on wire screens where the water drains from. Then, the fibers are bond to form a wet paper sheet.

After you complete this, you remove water by pressing the wet paper sheet. And you can do this using a press roller. You can then heat it with a metal roller to obtain an entirely dried sheet.

After this, the process is complete, and you have successfully recycled the paper


Can I Put Shredded Paper in the Recycle Bin?

Pouring your shredded paper in the recycle bin may not be effective and advisable. The reason is this.

When recycling starts, shredded papers, may get to be filtered with some other particles. In turn, they will end up on the Land mill, and you’ll lose this paper.

However, for companies that can handle high volume shredding, this might not be an issue. You can also sort your shredded paper by packing them in a paper bag or a polymer bag before dropping them in your recycle bin.

What Else Can I Do with My Shredded Paper?

Suppose you do not intend to give out your shredded paper to a recycling company. Then it is no problem. There are other things you can do with them from the comfort of your home. They include

  • If you have a cute pet, you can use your shredded papers as its bedding or litter. Cats love this when you do it for them. So, you can try it for your cat; it will thank you for it. Your chicken or bird can also use it for nesting. Otherwise, you can donate it to an animal farm near you for use as bedding for the animals.
  • If you have plans of giving a friend a gift, you might want to pause a bit and use your shredded paper as a filler for the gift bag. It makes everything looks cool with the present.
  • You can also use your shredded paper to support and cushion breakable materials when packing them together. This support will prevent them from cracking or breaking easily.
  • You can also use your shredded paper to make some perfect fire starters. All you need are wax or your old candles, cartons, and your shredded papers.

Is Shredded Paper Good for Your Garden?

One of the most asked questions is whether you can use your shredded paper for your garden. As such, you might also be wondering just if.

Well, the answer is that it is great for your garden. In fact, there are a variety of uses that you can apply shredded paper to within your garden.

So, are you wondering what the similarity between some pieces of paper and your cherished garden is? We have got you covered. Let’s find out.

  • Your shredded paper can serve as your garden composite: Yes, you read that right. Paper comes from plants, so if you mix them with your grasses in equal quantity, they will decompose and enrich your garden plants.
  • Insect repellent: You can use your shredded paper to repel annoying insects and pests from your garden. You simply have to dip them in or spray some pest repellent essential oils, then place them around your favorite flower. You do not have to worry; shredded papers are highly decomposable.
  • Protect your seedlings: You can use your shredded paper to protect your seedlings from birds and allow them to thrive and grow. Just shred and spread around your newly developed seedlings. For effective results, make sure to use black and white shredded paper.
  • Garden beds: Shredded papers are also excellent when you use them as your garden beds, especially your vegetables. Because it decomposes quickly, there is nothing much to cause worry.
  • Mulching material: Shredded paper can serve as an excellent mulching material for your soil. It helps to retain your soil moisture, slows down the growth of weeds, maintains soil temperature, and increases soil fertility.

So, if you have a garden, and you have some shredded paper, you have got yourself a great combination. You can combine them to get great results in your garden.

In Conclusion

Shredding papers has now become a significant way to dispose of paper trails. However, while this is great, it can sometimes pose some issues. And this is due to its tendency to filter into the air or spill around.

Well, that’s where recycling comes in. Yes, you can recycle your shredded paper. In this article, we have spelled out how it gets done. We have also shown you the variety of uses for which you can apply your shredded paper.

So, read up and stay informed.

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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.