How to recycle/dispose of paper

examples of accepted paper

We accept paper in our curbside recycling program, and as a recyclable at our Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station.

What items are accepted?

We accept

  • newspapers and inserts
  • white and colored office and printing paper
  • shredded paper - how to prepare shredded paper
  • books
    • hardcover books
    • paperback books
    • telephone books
  • spiral-bound notebooks
  • magazines and catalogs
  • boxes
    • cardboard boxes
    • cereal boxes
    • juice and drink boxes (aseptic packaging, Tetra Paks)
    • pizza boxes, without sauce or cheese residue
    • produce and fruit boxes
    • shoe boxes
    • snack food and cookie boxes
    • other boxes
  • egg cartons (cardboard only)
  • paper bags
  • frozen food containers (frozen meals and vegetables)
  • paper ice cream containers and lids
  • milk and juice cartons
  • paper coffee and beverage cups
  • thermal paper
  • unwanted mail (with or without windows)
  • wrapping paper
  • all other clean and dry paper

How do I prepare paper for collection?

Combine all clean paper items and place them in

  • a wheeled cart for paper recycling - order a wheeled cart
  • small bundles, each 45 pounds or less. Bundle your paper with
    • twine
    • small cardboard boxes with secure lids
    • small paper bags

Rinse all paper milk, juice and drink cartons and remove their plastic caps.

Staples, paper clips, and plastic "windows" do not need to be removed.

Secure any shredded paper.

Do not use yard trim bags for your recyclable paper! When recycling collection crews see these at the curb, they will assume that they contain leaves, grass, or brush.

Cardboard boxes do not need to be cut to size, tied, or flattened for collection. (However, flattened boxes make collections more efficient and maximize the space in your cart.) Simply set your boxes out next to your blue bin for collection.

Do you offer paper shredding?

We periodically hold community paper shredding and recycling events. Visit our paper shredding page to check the current schedule.

What if my paper or cardboard gets wet?

If your paper or cardboard items get wet because of rain, snow, or ice, we will still pick them up on your recycling day.

Even when the outside of paper bundles is wet, the material inside is usually dry. If you know that wet weather is forecast for your collection day, you may like to hold your paper items for the following week’s collection.

The easiest way to keep your paper dry at the curb is to use a wheeled paper recycling cart.

Do not put your paper or cardboard into plastic bags to keep it dry. We do not accept recyclables in plastic bags.

We cannot accept mildewed paper or cardboard.

What items are not accepted?

We do not accept

  • 3-ring binders (but please recycle any paper inside the binder)
  • carbon paper
  • foil gift wrap
  • leather-bound books
  • packing material such as styrofoam or plastic
  • envelopes with plastic padding
  • paper or cardboard contaminated with paint, chemicals, food, or used kitty litter.
  • paper towels, napkins, or tissues
  • photographs/photographic paper, because of the coatings used on this type of paper.

Do not place plastic bags, plastic wrap or Styrofoam® products in your mixed paper recycling container.

Never place syringes or other sharps in a carton that is to be placed in the mixed paper recycling cart.

How can I opt out of unwanted mail?

Opt out of unwanted mail, catalogs, and phone books.

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