How to Recycle Shredded Paper

Recycling Explained

Many people choose to shred their paper for security reasons. Luckily in Sioux Falls, you can recycle shredded paper right in your mixed recycling bin! To make sure your paper is being recycled, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Make sure it’s clean and dry and only includes shredded paper (No other materials in the mix).
  2. Bag shredded paper in a clear or “see-through” 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.
  3. Tightly knot the bag shut (This prevents the shredded pieces from getting loose and going everywhere, and we do mean Everywhere!).
  4. Put your tied bag of shredded paper into your single stream bin to be recycled!


  • Why Use Clear Bags? We need to be able to see what’s in closed bags to help us identify what’s inside and avoid ripping open a bag of dirty diapers or pet waste (trust us… it’s happened).
  • Why Use “Tough” Bags for Large Amounts? Tough, industrial strength clear bags make sure it doesn’t rip open in the truck or when being dumped on the tipping floor (this creates a huge mess and is impossible to capture, meaning your paper won’t be recycled and gets scattered all around the facility or ends up contaminating other material).
  • Does shredding paper lower the quality for recycling? 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 full sheets of paper.
  • How Can I decrease the amount of paper I shred? 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.


Where to Shred your Paper in Sioux Falls?

If you have more paper than you can handle on your own or don’t have a paper shredder, check out SEAM in Sioux Falls for secure document and paper shredding. They offer drop-off paper shredding for residents and businesses, or onsite paper shredding for businesses in the South Dakota and North Dakota area.