Can You Recycle Spiral Notebooks? (And Creative Ways to Reuse)

At one point in your life, you would have used a spiral notebook. They are just a beautiful piece of the book that you cannot avoid in a lifetime.

Like you, others also find it a great companion to put down their ideas about business projects and work schedules. Some even use them to put down the list of shopping items.

However, you cannot use them forever, probably because you have exhausted the free blank pages. Or you have gone tired of them and moved on to another spiral notebook.

Whatever may be the case for you, you almost certainly don’t concern yourself with the aftermath. So, have you asked what becomes of the spiral notebooks when you dump them?

Are they bad for the environment? Are they recyclable? What other things can you even use them for?

We understand how important these questions are. So, we have decided to answer them. In this article, we will answer the question, can you recycle spiral notebooks. We will also answer other related questions.

Dive in!

Can You Recycle Spiral Notebooks?

Recycling has been the talk of the town for years now. People consider recycling for everything they come across. For the record, this is great.

Now that today’s attention is on spiral notebooks, let us answer the question of whether you can recycle them.

The answer is YES; you can recycle spiral notebooks.

This is because your spiral notebooks come majorly from paper. And as you must already know, the paper is one thing that is easy to recycle.

All you need to do is find the recycling center. Afterward, you can make your spiral notebook available to them. Then, viola, you are on the recycling train.

In turn, these recycled notebooks are useful for a wide variety of purposes. For instance, used or old spiral notebooks can form new paper materials like paper towels.

Great right?

How to Recycle Spiral Notebooks?

Now that you know you can recycle your spiral notebooks, it is all good news. Well, the next thing you might be wondering about is how to do this.

We understand it requires effort. However, so it is easier for you, here is how to recycle spiral notebooks.

The first thing you need to do is detach your spiral notebook. You will need to remember that your spiral notebook might come with plastic material. Typically, this might be inside the hardcover, and it brings so much durability to the notebook.

Even more, there might be some form of aluminum cord that ties the book around. In such a situation, the goal would be to remove the cord from the paper material. And this is because they both have different recycling processes.

As soon as you do this, you can put the notebook in the curbside recycling bin. Then, your recycling center will come to have them for recycling. However, if you have some personal notes in your spiral notebooks, you can shred it before putting it in your recycling bin.

Once the recycling company gets across to them, they take them to their recycling plant. And here, they recycle them just the way they would recycle paper.

Are Spiral Notebooks Eco-Friendly?

One thing that constantly runs through your mind is whether your spiral notebooks are eco-friendly. And why should it not? We are all concerned about our actions’ effect on the environment.

Well, in response to your answer, it is both a yes and no. Spiral notebooks are somewhat eco-friendly. And, at the same time, not eco-friendly.

Typically, when we say no, we consider their effects on trees, a major part of our environment. This is because a considerable number of trees get cut each year to produce those notebooks.

In turn, this causes a wide range of environmental issues such as soil erosion, flooding, and global warming, among others. This is all bad news for the environment, which leads us to conclude that notebooks have a negative effect.

On the other, their subsequent use is less bad news. If you remember, spiral notebooks come from paper materials. In turn, this comes from the pulp, meaning you can recycle them easily. In turn, this means you can prevent a considerable amount of pollution.

Also, they biodegrade easily, and you can even use them as compost. The great news about this is that it also ensures that you can put them to other great use after their use.

Can You Compost Spiral Notebooks?

Spiral notebooks are primarily paper materials. What this means is that they are great if you decide to use them for composts.

In most cases, people refer to them as green materials for composting. And this because of their ability to decompose very fast. So, you can relax your mind about putting your spiral notebooks in the compost bin. The fact is that they do very great.

However, there are some basic things you must observe before composting your spiral notebooks.

First, you must be careful about using inked spiral notebooks. This is because some of these inks contain toxic chemicals that can cause harm to your compost. Therefore, it is better to be sure that the ink is safe. And, of course, it will not be a problem for the soil and your plants.

Also, be careful of the spiral notebooks with oil, paint, or chemical spillage on them. They can be awful for your compost bin. When you have a spiral notebook with these spillages, the best thing to do is separate them and allow them to decompose naturally or dispose of them safely.

Another thing you should be careful of is the wire-bound holding each side of the spiral notebook. These wire-bounds are soft iron materials. Some of them can also be plastic materials. The implication of this is that they won’t decompose in real time if you don’t remove them from the compost bin.

Lastly, you should ensure that you remove the hardcovers that protect the paper pages. Aside from being too hard and would take quite some time before they decompose, some are coated in plastic materials, and others are of hard cardboard materials to give it additional strength.

So, it would be best if you separated the hardcovers before putting the rest in your compost bin.

Are Spiral Notebooks Biodegradable?

The answer to this appears quite simple. Spiral notebooks are paper materials. Paper materials are highly degradable, especially if they come in constant contact with water.

Averagely, spiral notebooks may take between two and six weeks before they decompose if they are in a moist area. So, don’t bother yourself too much. Your favorite spiral notebook is biodegradable.

However, some things might not be easily degradable in your spiral notebooks. These include the wire-bound coil used to hold the pages together. Then, there is also the hardcovers used to protect the paper pages.

The wire-bound coil may be plastic or soft-iron material, so they would take exceptionally long before decomposing. Before this occurs, they may find their way into the ocean and harm aquatic life. Likewise, the hardcovers might be a plastic material and will also take time before decomposing while harming the process’s environment.

The bottom line is that you should be careful about disposing of your spiral notebooks because of the potentials of some materials in them to decompose slowly. The better option is to offer them up for recycling.


Can You Shred Spiral Notebooks?

Shredding things seems to be like one of the pastimes of office workers. Just as you do it for office documents, you can also shred spiral notebooks.

The only thing is that you cannot shred the spiral notebooks all at once because of the size. Often, it would help if you dispatched the paper pages from the wire-bound coil holding them together. After doing this, you can then begin to shred the paper pages.

Also, it would be best if you took it slowly with the hardcovers. Some of these hardcovers are very strong in offering firmness and protection to the paper pages.

Putting them straight to the shredder may prove difficult. Even more, in some cases, the hardcovers are plastic materials. As such, we are putting them straight up can damage the teeth of the shredder.

The best practice is for you to separate the hardcovers and other vital materials before shredding.

What to Do with Old Spiral Notebooks? (Creative Ways to Reuse)

The only use of spiral notebooks is not as a writing material. When you have finished using it this way, there are other creative things to do with the old spiral notebooks.

So, are you wondering what you can do with them? Here you go!

1. Paper Flowers

Top on the list is using your old spiral notebooks to make paper flowers. The great thing is that they are useful in preparation for your birthday or Christmas celebration.

However, before you do this, you would need a pair of scissors, adhesive, and paint.

You begin by folding your papers equally into multiple sides to form a long rectangle with a short height. After this, you can start to unfold and alternate your folds.

Now, you can begin to cut, depending on your preferences. Glue each of your pieces together from end to end. Paint them in your preferred color and finally glue them on a coffee stick. There you have your paper flower made from your old spiral notebook.

2. Fillers

Doing this should not be a problem for anybody. All you have to do is squeeze some pages of your spiral notebooks and use them to fill your bags or shoes to keep them in shape. Also, it helps you keep dirt and insects away from your shoes and bags.

3. Breakables Protective

If you have breakables, you can use some pages in your old spiral notebooks to protect them from cracks and breaking. What you have to do is put some papers in between your breakables. And you would have saved it from cracking or breaking. For better performance, you can shred the papers and put them in between the breakables.

4. Object Covers

If you have objects that you don’t want dust or dirt to settle on, the spiral notebook is one thing you should consider using to protect them. Depending on how big your spiral notebook is, you can tape them together to give you complete coverage for your objects.


Spiral notebooks are quite popular today. And that is why you, like thousands of others, are interested in how to dispose of them. While it might have appeared confusing before, we bet it does not anymore.

Primarily, you have read everything about spiral notebooks. The ball is now in your court. You can play it where you like. However, we advise you to be eco-friendly with your spiral notebooks.

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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.