A pile of different newspapers

What to do with paper?

22 Oct 21 1 minute read

Paper recycling, sounds like a given doesn’t it? And on the whole, yes. Paper is a recyclable material but as with everything there are exceptions to the rule. So read on to find out more.

Household recycling collection

Newspapers, magazines, paper, small brochures, advertising leaflets, and envelopes (as long as you’ve ripped out any windows first.) can be put in your recycling bin. 

Wallpaper isn't recyclable and should be thrown away in your rubbish bin. Whether stripped from walls or leftover from a wallpapering project, the coatings that have been applied to the wallpaper make it unsuitable for recycling.

Often shredded paper is not accepted as the small fibres can jam the machinery at the recycling facility, although some councils will accept shredded paper if it’s put inside an empty cereal box for example. Before you recycle shredded paper, check with your local council.

Recycling facilities exist

Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

Yes, paper is accepted at household waste recycling centres. Again, be sure to rip any windows out of envelopes.

Wallpaper is a no go. 

Recycling facilities exist

How is paper recycled?

For paper to be recycled, it first needs to be separated into different types and grades. The paper is then washed to remove any film, glue, ink and other contaminants using soapy water.

Once the paper is washed, it is moved to a container where it is mixed with water to create a pulp. This pulp is then dried, pressed and rolled into sheets of recycled paper ready to be used again.

What can you do?

  1. Reduce the amount of mail that's posted through your letterbox, check out the Mailing Preference Service to find out more.

  2. Think before you print and if you really need to then print double sided.

  3. Change your home bills to paperless and pay them online or by phone.

  4. Use your phone to take notes instead of writing them down, it’s an easy way to reduce paper waste.

  5. Many newspapers now have online versions - give them a try instead of a paper version.

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.

Check out our recycling locator tool to help find a place to recycle your paper.