Recycling Q&A: What Can I Do With Shredded Paper If It Can't Go in Recycling Bin?

Recycling Q&A: What Can I Do With Shredded Paper If It Can’t Go in Recycling Bin?

  • Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series of recycling Q&A tips from Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland. Got a question or idea for a recycling tip? Contact Jarland at 630-208-3841 or

Q: Hi! Any ideas on what to do with shredded paper since it can’t go in recycle bin? Thanks, Tim

A: Hi, Tim! Below is the information from the Kane County Recycles webpage for paper that is already shredded.


Already Shredded Your Paper?

DO NOT PUT IN CURBSIDE RECYCLING BIN: Paper that has already been shredded is not recyclable in the curbside recycling programs because it creates a major problem at the sorting facilities.

BRING TO ANY KANE COUNTY RECYCLING EVENT: If you have already shredded your documents, you can take bags of shredded paper to any of the recycling events scheduled throughout the year. (See event dates​.) Please place shredded paper in paper bags (with top rolled and stapled once or twice) and drop them off at the Book Recycling area. We will put them in with the books that are beyond use and headed for recycling. The paper will get recycled.​​

TAKE TO AURORA, WESTROCK PAPER RECYCLING FACILITY: The facility is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. See the WestRock website, and be sure to click on the word doc at the bottom for the detailed instructions​ on how to get through the gate! The paper will get recycled.​

SHRED JUDICIOUSLY: Best practice if you want to shred your own confidential material is to tear off the portion of the page that contains the confidential information and shred that and then recycle the rest of the sheet whole in your curbside recycling program.



When: ​8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 10 (or until trucks are full)
 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, IL 60174

  • This service provides on-site shredding trucks, where you can watch your documents being shredded if you wish.
  • This is for residential material only, not for businesses (see list below for business service), thank you.
  • Quantity limit is four boxes (12 inches width by 16 inches depth by 10 inches height) or bags of equivalent size.
  • Staples, paperclips, spiral bindings, file folders without metal, and​ envelope windows are fine to leave in.
  • Please REMOVE all binder clips, three-ring plastic binders and any larger metal pieces.
  • Please do not bring periodicals, magazines, junk mail, or other paper that does not contain confidential information. Those materials can go in your household recycling bin.
  • Please note that we will receive documents for shredding only until the trucks are full.​

What Is Considered Confidential?

Confidential information such as account numbers and details, social security numbers, etc. should be kept secure and destroyed.

However, information like name, address, and phone numbers are not considered confidential as they can be found in phone directories or in common records. Those kinds of information do not need to be shredded.

Please DO NOT BRING periodicals, magazines, and other junk mail that does not contain confidential information. Those materials can go in your household recycling bin.

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