Can You Recycle Toilet Paper Rolls?

Toilet paper is one of the most household items. Did you know that the average American uses about ninety toilet paper rolls while a household of four uses about three hundred and sixty annually? Well, it’s a good thing toilet paper isn’t toxic to the environment.

However, with this high consumption of toilet paper rolls, it’s not unusual to ask disposal questions. Irrespective of whether a material is environmentally harmful or not, proper waste disposal is essential. It brings order, cleanliness, and uniformity to the environment.

Now, can you recycle toilet paper rolls? Say you’re an individual who lives alone; how do you dispose of your ninety annual rolls. Please, read on to find out if you can recycle, compost, or sell your toilet paper rolls. Enjoy!

Can You Recycle Toilet Paper Tubes?

Aside from the production process toilet paper goes through, it’s a great addition to your household supplies. It’s also easy to dispose of.

However, on the other hand, the tubes should be properly disposed of at all times. So, how do you do that? It’s simple – by recycling.

So, you can recycle toilet paper tubes, but not with regular paper. Instead, you have to put it with cardboard materials because they’re similar in composition. Any local recycling center will accept your toilet paper tubes with cardboard.

Now, you have to ensure that the rolls are empty before taking them to the recycling center. It’s impossible to recycle toilet paper because it’s made from paper that’s been recycled multiple times. So, attempting to continue the cycle will produce a pulp material.

On the other hand, you can’t recycle used toilet paper because it’s mostly used for unsanitary purposes. Recycling it with other materials will end up rendering them useless.

Another issue worth considering is how you gather the toilet paper tubes. For one, we burn through a significant quantity monthly, and it’ll be a waste of time to take the used-up tubes to the recycling center one after the other.

What you can do is to get a small basket that you’ll place in your bathroom for toilet paper tubes. When the basket gets filled up, then you’ll know it’s time for your visit to the recycling center. That way, you’re also taking preventive measures against throwing the toilet paper tubes into the garbage can with the rest of your waste.

Can You Compost Toilet Paper Tubes?

Composting is one of the most effective and useful waste disposal methods. It’s also pretty straightforward – anyone can do it!

However, it could be challenging to determine what you can compost. So, the rule of thumb is that anything that qualifies as kitchen waste can be composted. But again, it gets a bit trickier.

You should avoid composting materials like meat, fish, dairy products, and confectionaries. They decompose pretty fast. But they either have a pungent decaying odor, or they have delicious aromas that can attract vermin.

Now, toilet paper tubes, on the other hand, have no odor whatsoever. So that’s one of the things that make them excellent compost material.

They’re also made from natural resources – trees. They will decompose pretty fast. Of course, toilet paper tubes are just like toilet paper, but a bit thicker. As such, they can also absorb water.

Any gardener knows that the materials in their compost pile need sufficient aeration. That way, the microorganisms, weather conditions, and moisture will find it easy to break down the materials in record time.

Since toilet paper tubes will absorb sufficient water, they make a great addition to your pile. Ensure that they haven’t come in contact with fatty foods or any other kitchen waste that shouldn’t go in your pile.

You also need to avoid putting toilet paper tubes that have come in contact with chemicals in your compost pile. They can contaminate the other materials and result in mass waste.

Here’s a cheat sheet for composting toilet paper tubes: If you want these tubes to decompose fast, you’ll have to soak them in water and tear them to pieces. Then, you can place the pieces in the compost pile and expect decomposition within record time.

Are Toilet Paper Tubes Biodegradable?

Biodegradation is a natural process that keeps the food chain active. Any biodegradable material can be broken down by microbes like fungi, bacteria, among many others.

The time that these microbes need to break down materials also depends on whether said materials are biodegradable or not. So, are toilet tubes biodegradable?

Well, the straight answer is yes. They’re biodegradable, and microorganisms will break them down within weeks to months.

In addition, toilet paper tubes are made from natural resources, and they contain little to no harmful substances that’ll affect the environment during the biodegradation process.

Moisture and extreme temperature can also speed up the break-down process. For example, when toilet paper is wet, we all know how pliable it is – it’ll break down with little to no effort. The same applies to toilet paper tubes.

When they’re wet and exposed to extreme heat, there’ll be no problems during decomposition. So, when your toilet paper mistakenly ends up in your garbage can and subsequently a landfill, you don’t have to worry about it sitting around for decades before it dissipates.

However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to dispose of the tubes properly. They’re made from paper, which is made from trees. Recycling these tubes will result in the conservation of our natural resources. It’ll reduce deforestation, which is a current threat to the environment.

Can You Sell Toilet Paper Tubes?

Now, here’s another way to properly dispose of your toilet paper tubes. The best part is that you can also make money in the process.

Some people have several uses for toilet paper tubes, and you can find them online. You can check eBay, Amazon, Etsy, among many other sites.

But of course, you’ll have to sell a large quantity of these tubes to make a significant profit. There are many things people can use toilet paper tubes for.

So, you can get a small bin where you’ll store the toilet paper tubes you want to sell online. However, as we mentioned earlier, a household uses about three hundred and sixty rolls of toilet paper yearly.

If you want to make a significant amount in a short time, you have to enlist the help of your friends and family. For example, you could buy some small baskets, give them, and ask that they dispose of their used-up tubes there. Then, you can visit them monthly to collect those tubes.  

You’ll have to prepare them by removing the leftover toilet paper pieces, which is an easy process. You can also simplify it by buying brands that are easily pliable. You also have to separate the smashed and unpresentable rolls from your pile.

The only thing you have to worry about is shipping, and these fees are usually meager on sites like eBay and Amazon.

7 Smart Ways to Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls

Since you can make a substantial amount by selling toilet paper rolls, it must mean that the people who buy them find them pretty useful. Now, what could you possibly need these rolls for?

Well, aside from recycling, there are many other things you can use toilet paper tubes for. You can upcycle them, and we’ll explore seven creative hacks. Let’s go!

1. Seed Starters

This is perhaps one of the most common ways to upcycle toilet paper tubes. These tubes are biodegradable, so they’ll eventually break down and become compost for your soil.

You can put some soil in a toilet paper tube, plant some seeds in them, and place them in your home or garden. It’s an excellent way to start an indoor garden.

2. Napkin Rings

Would you like to host a fancy dinner? Then, you’ve got yourself the perfect napkin rings! But, of course, you have to get crafty with these toilet paper tubes, and you’ll leave your guests wondering where you got your napkin rings from.

You can cut the tubes in half, paint them, and leave them to dry. Afterward, you’ll have yourself some unique napkin rings that you can even gift to friends and family.

3. Stationery Holders

Toilet paper tubes make perfect stationery holders. They’re just the right size and depth, and you can design them anyhow you like.

Don’t be scared to get creative – splash some colors, glitters, and even beads and buttons on these tubes and place them in your home and office.

4. Jewelry Tray

Organizing jewelry is important, especially if you have a lot of it. It gives off an aesthetic appeal and makes it easier for you to pinpoint the ones you’ll be wearing out today.

Now, you can have a personalized jewelry tray without spending an extra dime. Get a sizable box and some toilet paper tubes. You can spray or paint them and organize the rolls one after the other in the box. Then, it can hold your rings, earrings, bracelets, and other jewelry.

5. Cord Organizer

Cords can leave a mess in your home when they’re strung everywhere. While this isn’t particularly bothersome, it can give off a disorganized look. In addition, you may have some difficulty finding these cords when you need them.

So, instead, you can use your toilet paper tubes as a makeshift cord organizer. First, you’ll have to curl them and place them in the tube. Afterward, you can put those tubes somewhere that’s easily accessible.

You can do that for all your phone and detachable cords.

6. Arts and Crafts

There are limitless ways to keep your kids entertained with toilet paper tubes. They can use them for paper-mâché assignments, canvasses for paint sessions, DIY stationery holders, among many others.

The best part is that you can hold on to most of these crafts – they make great additions to your home or office, which is an excellent way to dispose of your toilet paper tubes properly.

7. Wrapping Paper Holder

We all love festive periods – we can give and receive gifts, have family dinners, and go on family vacations.

Now, when wrapping gifts for your friends and family, it’s not uncommon to have some leftover wrapping paper. But, of course, you can’t just throw it out – it’ll certainly be useful during another festive period.

So, you can roll them up and place them in a toilet paper tube to prevent them from wrinkling or fading away. That way, they’ll remain in the best condition until you need them again.


We can hardly do without toilet paper, which means we’ll likely burn through a significant amount yearly. There are many ways to dispose of the toilet paper tubes properly, and you can choose to make money off them or upcycle them.

You have several options in this blog post, so please make informed choices going forward.

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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.