Whether you’re a resident shredding your private mail or a business shredding boxes of confidential files, it’s hard to avoid shredding paper when you need to make sure your data is secure. Many communities do not accept shredded paper for recycling, but luckily in Sioux Falls, we can take it right in the single stream bin – we just ask that you follow a few guidelines:
- Bag shredded paper in a clear bag. This allows the shredded paper to be spotted and removed at the beginning of the sorting process without contaminating the rest of the material. For small amounts, see-through grocery bags work great. For large amounts, use clear, tough, industrial strength bags.
- Make sure it’s clean and dry.
- Only include shredded paper (No other materials inside the bag).
- Tightly knot the bag shut (This prevents the shredded pieces from getting loose and going everywhere, and we do mean Everywhere!).
– Why Use Clear Bags? To help us identify what’s in the bag and avoid ripping open a bag of dirty diapers or pet waste (trust us… it’s happened)
– Why Use Tough Bags? To make sure it doesn’t rip open in the garbage truck or when being dumped on the tipping floor (this creates a huge mess and is impossible to capture!)
To shred or not to shred?
Paper is made up of fibers. The longer the fiber, the more valuable the paper is for recycling. When paper is shredded, it instantly lowers the fiber quality and is not as valuable as nice, full sheets of paper. The best way to avoid piles of shredded paper is to decrease the amount of confidential documents you have. Many organizations like banks or other financial providers offer online statements to avoid receiving hard copies. You can also eliminate unwanted junk mail, like the pre-approved credit card offers, by visiting the Federal Trade Commission website and removing your name from junk mail lists.
Have something else you’re not sure about? Use our handy Where Do I Take This tool to search the database of local places you can recycle almost anything! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask us! We love to hear your questions and if it’s not listed in our database, your questions help us add it to the list for others to see.