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Paper & Boxes

Paper, which includes everything from packaging and newspaper to mail, magazines, cartons and cardboard boxes – are all accepted in community recycling curbside programs as well as recycling drop-off sites.

Paper is the most recycled material in the U.S. You can recycle many types of mixed paper (paper & boxes) at our recycling drop-off sites or in your curbside recycling.
Mixed paper should be placed loose in a curbside recycling cart or bin. If you must use bags to hold your recycling, choose brown kraft bags instead of plastic bags. Flatten cardboard. When setting mixed paper and boxes at the curb for recycling, make sure it's empty, clean, dry and out of the rain or weather.

ACCEPTED ITEMS FOR RECYCLING:

  • Newspapers and inserts
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Junk mail and envelopes (window envelopes are okay)
  • Postcards, greeting cards, coupon packets
  • Phone books
  • Paper grocery and shopping bags
  • Cereal and dry food boxes, shoe boxes, toothpaste or OTC medicine boxes
  • Paper tubes, tissue boxes (toilet paper, paper towels)
  • Office paper, stationery, business cards - any color
  • Paperback books
  • Wrapping paper (including the cardboard tube)
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • EMPTY pizza boxes
  • Paper egg cartons

DO NOT Include 

  • Paper cups. Paper cups have a thin layer of plastic coating on them to protect them from condensation. The plastic coating sprayed on paper cups makes the paperboard underneath impossible to recycle in the standard pulp process because the container will not break apart during recycling.
  • Frozen food boxes. Frozen food boxes and freezer cartons have a thin layer of plastic coating on them to preserve them from condensation. The plastic coating sprayed on the frozen food boxes makes the paperboard underneath impossible to recycle in the standard pulp process because the container will not break apart during recycling.
  • Heavily wet or soiled paper and boxes. Try to avoid getting paper and cardboard wet, as it significantly reduces its recyclability. Empty all bottles and jugs and replace the cap before tossing them in your cart or bin so they don't drain on your paper.
  • Used Napkins, tissues and paper towels. 
  • Food or candy wrappers. Wrappers are typically made of multiple materials. Bits of plastic, aluminum and paper are mixed together, making it difficult and expensive to recover.
  • Photographs. Cannot be recycled due to chemical coatings used in the photo developing process.
  • Shredded paper. Shredded paper is too small to make it through the sorting system at the recycling plant. It's best to take shredded paper to a mixed paper drop off bin operated by Paper Retriever or River Valley Paper Company. Typically, paper recycling bins are located in the parking lots of schools, places of worship and other nonprofits. Use a paper bag (not plastic) to hold your shredded paper.