Find a location to recycle paper in your area

In the U.S., we recycle a lot of paper; it accounts for half of the recyclables collected per year, and our paper recycling rate is 63 percent. However, paper still makes up 33 percent of our annual garbage output, so we have a long way to go.

Paper Recycling Tips

  1. Avoid getting paper wet, as this significantly reduces the recycling market. If your curbside program accepts all materials in the same bin/cart, empty your containers before tossing them in so they don’t drain on your paper. If there’s rain in the forecast, wait until the morning of collection to put your bin at the curb.
  2. If possible, use a black marker to remove sensitive information instead of shredding paper. Ink is easily removed in the recycling process, but shredding paper reduces the fiber lengths, making it more difficult to recycle into new paper.
  3. Verify what types of paper are accepted in your area, as some communities only accept certain grades. Definitely check to see if your community accepts paper lined with plastic, such as frozen food boxes and cartons.
  4. In the case of boxes (cardboard and paperboard), break them down to save room in your recycling bin.

Find a drop-off location for paper near you using our Recycling Locator.

Find Recycling Guides for Other Materials

Frequent Paper Recycling Questions

Additional Reading

Find out how to recycle paper with this recycling guide

How Paper Recycling Works