Dispose of paper

Last updated: 12 March 2021

Why recycle paper?

Paper and cardboard products made from recycled material conserves trees, and their production uses up to 50% less energy and 90% less water than making them from raw materials. Recycling one tonne of paper saves three cubic metres of landfill space.

Recycle your household paper to:

  • save energy
  • reduce landfill
  • reduce CO2 emissions
  • conserve raw materials.

Reduce your household paper waste

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce the amount of paper you need to recycle:

  1. Minimise the amount of paper food packaging that you purchase
    • Think before printing and use both sides
    • Do as many things as you can on-screen, such as reviewing, editing and completing forms.
    • Set printers to default to double-sided and re-use the reverse side of single-printed pages.
  2. Used envelopes can be also be written on as notepaper.
  3. Avoid junk mail by using a 'No junk mail' sticker.

Paper you can put in your kerbside recycling bin

  • books
  • boxes/cardboard (unwaxed)
  • brochures
  • egg cartons
  • envelopes (including with plastic windows)
  • deli/butchers' paper
  • greeting cards
  • juice cartons
  • junk mail
  • magazines
  • milk cartons
  • newspapers
  • office paper
  • paper bags
  • paper plates (clean)
  • paper towel rolls
  • phone books
  • pizza boxes (scraps removed)
  • postcards
  • tissue boxes
  • toilet paper rolls
  • washing powder boxes
  • wrapping paper.

Don't forget to:

  • Remove food scraps from pizza boxes
  • Empty and lightly clean paper items
  • Keep recycling out of plastic bags

Paper you can't put in your kerbside recycling bin

  • coffee cups
  • dirty paper plates, napkins or kitchen roll
  • paper towel
  • pizza boxes soaked in oil
  • shredded paper
  • tissues
  • toilet paper
  • waxed cardboard such as fruit boxes.

What happens to recycled paper?

Recycled paper is broken down using either chemical or mechanical means to free the fibres and create pulp. The pulp is re-manufactured into paper products in a similar way to first production paper.

Paper can be recycled into many things including office paper, packaging, toilet paper, egg cartons, soundproofing, furniture and cardboard.

The waste products left over from the recycling process (ink, short fibres and plastics) are collectively called 'sludge' and are either sent into landfill, burnt for energy or used as fertilizer.

Paper can be recycled up to eight times. Once the paper has been recycled as many times as possible, it is turned into organic waste and breaks down.