Recycling Q&A: How Do I Recycle Paper That's Already Shredded?

Recycling Q&A: How Do I Recycle Paper That’s Already Shredded?

  • 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: How do I recycle paper that has already been shredded if it can’t go in the recycling cart anymore?

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

A: Glad you asked!

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.

You can you put it in your trash.​ But if you wish to recycle it, please read on!

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 and first event of the year information below.)

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. Your 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.

Q: Also, does Kane County have events where you shred documents for free?

A: Yes, Kane County has four free confidential document shredding events scheduled for 2019, on May 11, June 8, Aug. 10, and Sept. 14.

Here’s what you need to know about the free document-shredding events:

  • Kane County provides on-site shredding trucks.
  • The service is for residential material only, not for businesses.
  • Quantity limit is four boxes or bags of a quantity equivalent to four boxes of a size approximately 12 inches wide by 16 inches deep by 10 inches tall.
  • Staples, paperclips, spiral bindings, file folders without metal, and cellophane envelope windows are fine to leave in.
  • Residents must REMOVE all binder clips, three-ring plastic binders and any larger metal pieces.
  • Kane County will receive documents for shredding until the trucks are full.​

1st Recycling Event of 2019!

The first event of the year is coming up!

April 13 Recycling Event Details

  • When: 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday April 13
  • Where: 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles
  • Costs for TVs and monitors: Recycling fees are $25 (for screens under 21 inches, measured diagonally) or $35 (for screens 21 inches or larger). Pay with cash or card.

What we will be accepting: 

  • Electronics — Free, except for TVs and monitors, which have a fee. See above.
  • Books — Free, hard and soft covers, any age, any condition.
  • We will not be shredding documents at this event! See schedule below for shred events.

More recycling information can be found at

Got questions? Contact Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland at 630-208-3841 or

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