How to Recycle Paper after Document Shredding

November 27, 2014

Shredded paper to be recycled

Businesses are always being urged to increase the percentage of their stationery which is recycled, but shredded documents cannot always be accepted by recycling companies. While there is no problem with recycling this paper, many paper mills are not willing to deal with this, and so you may have been forced to dispose of the paper in landfill sites. Despite the problems with shredded paper, there are still some ways of recycling your old documents.

Why companies won’t take shredded documents
There are a number of reasons why most paper mills are reluctant to handle paper which has been through document shredding processes. Firstly, there is a legal obligation for confidentiality which can make some companies uneasy, and there are some rules about how document shredding should be handled which can raise legal problems. Secondly, and more practically, the shredding process causes the fibres of the paper to shorten. This makes it weaker, and less suitable for recycling. Shredded paper can also cause jams in the machinery, and may increase fire risk.

What to do with paper from document shredding
If your local authority won’t accept the paper, then you will need to try other methods to recycle the paper. Firstly, you should try to avoid shredding the paper where it is possible. You may also be able to recycle the paper by offering it to composing firms. Shredded paper fibres are ideal for compost, and they can help smaller businesses which use compost as the paper absorbs wet. If neither of these ideas are possible for your business, then you might consider trying to find recycling firms through your local authority. The council will know who is able to recycle document shredding waste, and they will be able to provide you with recommendations.