Paper Recycling: The Do's and Don'ts for Small Businesses


Recycling paper is an essential practice for small businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact and promote sustainability. By implementing proper paper recycling practices, you can contribute to conservation efforts and reduce waste. This article will outline the dos and don'ts of recycling paper for small businesses, including guidance on document shredding.

The Dos of Paper Recycling

Do Educate Your Employees

Inform and educate your employees about the importance of paper recycling. Encourage them to actively participate in recycling efforts and provide clear guidelines on what can be recycled. Set up designated recycling bins throughout your office space to collect paper waste. Clearly label the bins to ensure employees understand what types of paper can be recycled.

Do Separate Paper Types

Separate different types of paper for recycling. Keep office paper separate from newspapers, magazines, or cardboard to ensure efficient recycling processes. Remove any non-recyclable items, such as metal clips, plastic inserts, or sticky notes, from paper documents before recycling. These contaminants can disrupt the recycling process and decrease the quality of recycled paper.

The Don'ts of Paper Recycling

Don't Recycle Soiled or Wet Paper

Avoid recycling soiled or wet paper, as it can contaminate other recyclables and hinder the recycling process. Dispose of these types of paper in the appropriate waste bin. You should also keep shredded paper separate from whole sheets. Shredded paper has shorter fibres, making it less valuable for recycling. Consider reusing shredded paper for packaging material or composting it instead.

Don't Recycle Thermal Paper

Thermal paper, often used for receipts or labels, contains a coating that cannot be recycled. Dispose of thermal paper in regular waste bins or consult with your waste management provider for proper disposal methods.

Document Shredding

To shred or not to shred? Document shredding is a crucial practice for maintaining data security and confidentiality, but how does this affect recycling? Consider the following tips for responsible document shredding:

Do Invest in a Shredder

Purchase a reliable shredder for your office to ensure sensitive documents can be destroyed on-site. This gives you control over the process and eliminates the need to transport documents to an external shredding facility. Create clear guidelines for employees on which documents should be shredded. Emphasise the importance of shredding confidential information to protect sensitive data.

Do Secure Shredding Bins

Place secure shredding bins throughout the office to collect documents that require shredding. These bins should be locked and accessible only by authorised personnel.

Don't Shred Recyclable Paper

Avoid shredding paper that can be recycled, such as office paper or non-confidential documents. Instead, place them in the designated recycling bins to maximise the value of recycled paper.

Don't Forget Electronic Data

Remember that sensitive information is not limited to paper documents. Properly dispose of electronic data by following established protocols for deleting or securely erasing digital files.

Doing Your Part

Implementing proper paper recycling practices and responsible document shredding is vital for small businesses committed to sustainability and data security. Educate your employees about recycling guidelines, establish designated recycling bins, and separate paper types to ensure efficient recycling processes. When it comes to document shredding, invest in a shredder, establish clear policies, and secure shredding bins to protect sensitive information. By following the dos and don'ts of paper recycling and implementing responsible document shredding practices, your small business can contribute to a greener environment, reduce waste, and safeguard confidential data.


23 May 2023

Recycling in Remote Areas: Ideas, Advocacy and Education

Hi, my name is Christine. About a year ago, I left the city and moved to a remote corner of Australia. I noticed that while surrounded by natural beauty and peace, I was missing several amenities, and one of these was access to recycling. As a result, I started figuring out ways to expand recycling in remote areas. I also started researching how to advocate for bringing it to these areas and educating citizens about the importance of how it helps. If you want to learn about recycling, what it does, and why it can be hard to find in some areas, you need to explore my blog. Enjoy reading!