How to Do It

Paper recycling couldn’t be easier! Wherever you find a recycling container – be it at home, work, or while you’re out and about – you can recycle paper. There’s nothing special you have to do; just put it in the bin. And paper means a lot more than, well, just paper.

Here’s a list of all the different paper items you can recycle:

  • Newspapers and inserts; magazines

  • Junk mail and envelopes with and without windows

  • Office or copy paper (including the staples)

  • File folders

  • Shredded paper that’s contained in a clear bag so it doesn’t end up flying all over the place

  • Phone books and catalogs

  • Cardboard boxes (flatten them so they don’t take up all the room in the bin)

  • Paperboard -- think boxes from cereal, crackers, cake mixes, frozen dinners, and the carrier from the newest bottled beverage you’re trying this week

  • Paper cartons like from milk, OJ, soup boxes, and juice boxes; just no straws or caps

  • Cardboard cores from paper towel and toilet paper rolls – but not the paper towels

  • Brown paper grocery bags

  • Clean pizza boxes. “Clean” means no hunks of cheese or sauce stuck to the box, and not too greasy. Throw away the box liner and toss the box in the recycling bin.

There are a few no-no’s, though. These things just have to go to the landfill:

  • Paper plates and napkins

  • Paper soiled with food or grease

  • Foil-coated paper (such as shiny wrapping paper)

  • Wax-coated paper (such as the backing of peel-off sticky labels or stamps)

  • Photographs

  • Wax paper

Other Ways to Help

  • Donate your old books to the library or sell them to a used bookstore

  • Opt out of unwanted mail at catalogchoice.org

  • Use dishware instead of paper plates at picnics, barbecues and other gatherings

And that’s it – easy as pie. Let’s Do It! Recycle Paper!

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