Published 26th of October 2020

When adhering to GDPR compliance and performing data security processes, you may be wondering, can shredded paper be recycled? Especially if your business is working hard to achieve environmentally friendly processes and policies.

Although it’s important for paper documents to be disposed of securely, shredding your own paper and placing it in a recycling bin can’t guarantee it will be recycled. Only half of the recyclable materials you put in your recycling bin get sent to be recycled – the rest gets sent to landfill, contributing to the rising pollution problem.

Why can’t you recycle shredded paper?

The majority of recycling centres don’t accept small strips or bits of paper. The large-scale recycling facilities use large screens to dry pulp paper on, where small paper pieces fall through the screens.

If you put paper shreds in an office or home recycling bin, they will most likely end up in landfill. Everything placed in a recycling bin gets sifted through and separated into plastics, papers, metals and items that can’t be recycled (including shredded bits of paper).

Materials roll along large belts and paper shreds easily fall off into piles of non-recyclable items. Some recycling facilities do accept shredded paper; however, if they are not properly bagged, they get missed as they are not picked off the belts by workers looking for non-recyclables.

How to reuse shredded paper waste

As a business, the best option may be to arrange secure disposal of shredded paper waste. However, there are some alternative ideas to reuse the waste paper which can also help to achieve eco-friendly policies and procedures.

Why not consider:

  • Using shredded paper to package delicate items for an upcoming office relocation
  • Donate it to a local vet or animal shelter for animal bedding
  • Allow employees to take it home for use in a fireplaceHow to dispose of shredded paper in the UK

How to dispose of shredded paper in the UK

Finding a recycling centre that takes tiny bits of shredded paper from individuals is the best way to ensure your paper gets recycled. However, this isn’t the most secure way as the paper can still get pieced back together. Large scale shredding operations like Shredall SDS Group produce large bales of shredded paper that recycling facilities can easily manage. When you use a professional shredding service, you are guaranteed your shreds will be recycled and your documents will be taken care of securely and confidentially.

If you have a large amount of paper to shred on a regular basis, there are shredding options that allow you to have a regular service on a scheduled basis. Another option is to have an ad-hoc service if you require a shred as a one-off or you just need it now and again.

Shredall SDS Group’s shredding services can help you securely destroy any documents in an environmentally friendly way. Whether the paper is shredded on- or off-site, everything gets baled at Shredall’s recycling depot before being sent to a recycling facility. 100% of the paper that is shredded is recycled at UK paper mills and turned into toilet paper and other paper related products.

Whether you prioritise efficiency, security, cost or you have environmental concerns, we will help you find the best shredding service to suit your needs. Speak to our team today.