What to Do with Shredded Paper?
As the movement towards environmental sustainability has gained momentum, paper has emerged as a leading alternative for plastic and non-recyclable materials, such as Styrofoam. Of course, paper is most sustainable when it is disposed of responsibly, but it is not always clear how to recycle all paper products.
This is especially true of shredded paper. Unlike regular paper, shredded paper cannot be simply added to the recycling bin.
Here are some sustainable ways to dispose of shredded paper!
In many cities shredded paper can be recycled, as long as it is properly contained. Some cities require shredded paper to be contained in paper or clear plastic bags in order to be recycled. To check if you can and how to properly recycle shredded paper in your city you can check with your local municipality or you could check in the recycle coach app.
Shredded paper is compostable. If your city has a composting program, the same containment rules as recycling usually apply. If you want to compost shredded paper in your own compost pile, it is considered “brown compost,” meaning it is carbon-rich organic matter. Remember, the cellophane panels from envelopes are not biodegradable and cannot be composted. Here are more tips on how to properly compost from the Environmental Protection Agency.
There are plenty of creative uses for shredded paper!
1. Use it to stuff boxes when moving and storing items that need a little extra protection.
2. It can be burned in a fireplace, or used to create a fire starter when mixed with dryer lint and stuffed into a toilet paper tube from a used roll. Just remember not to burn any glossy paper with a film, as it may be harmful to inhale the chemicals.
3. Make your own bedding for pets and animals. This can be implemented for household pets, like a hamster, or farm animals, like chickens. You could also ask a local vet or animal shelter if they would accept donations to be used for bedding.
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