Q: Can you answer all my paper recycling questions?

Q. How should I prepare my mixed paper for curbside recycling collection?

A. All types of paper (newspaper, magazines, catalogs, office paper, junk mail, shredded paper, paperboard, etc.), must be bagged or bundled together. Paper and plastic grocery bags work great for bagging paper. You can put all of your paper recycling in paperboard boxes (like cereal boxes) as well. ALL paper must be bagged, boxed, or bundled or it will not be taken.

Q. Why must I bag my paper?

A. There are several reasons. It is safer and more efficient for the drivers to toss bags into the curbside trucks. At times they must climb a ladder to toss the bags into the truck. Loose paper blows out of the bins and trucks on windy days. It is more efficient to sort the bags rather than loose paper at the recycling facility.

Q. Can I recycle corrugated cardboard at the curb?

A. Yes. Corrugated cardboard must be flattened and placed in or next to the curbside recycling bin.

Q. Why aren’t pizza boxes recyclable?

A. Pizza boxes can be contaminated with food residue that causes problems in the recycling process. However, if the tops of the boxes are clean, they may be recycled along with corrugated cardboard.

Q. Why is wet paper unacceptable for recycling?

A. Wet paper is not accepted by our paper recycling markets. Paper fibers that have been exposed to water are shorter and therefore less valuable to paper mills.

Q. What is paperboard?

A. Paperboard is typically used in packaging like cereal boxes. It is like cardboard, only thinner, and is not corrugated. Examples of recyclable paperboard include food boxes, shoe boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, tissue boxes, tablet backs, etc. Milk and juice cartons are not considered paperboard (they have plastic lining) and should not be placed in our recycling containers.

Q. Can I recycle shredded paper?

A. Most definitely. Please make sure to contain shredded paper in a plastic or paper bag before recycling to prevent fly-a-ways.

Q. Are staples, sticky notes, envelopes with windows, etc. safe to recycle?

A. Yes. Paper with staples may be placed in the recycling bin. The staples will be removed during the recycling process. Envelopes with windows may also be recycled as well as paper with adhesive, like sticky notes.

Q. Are books recyclable?

A. Paperback books may be recycled with mixed paper. If you have a hardcover book, please make sure to remove and toss the covers and place the remainder of the book with your mixed paper.