Can shredded paper be recycled?

Not necessarily — it depends on how the paper has been shredded. Some domestic shredders can make the fibres too weak for recycling. You may also need to check with your local authority to see if they will collect shredded paper.

At Russell Richardson we recycle 100% of the paper we shred, whether a bulk or small business, regular or one-off service.

What happens to the paper after shredding?

After destroying your documents safely and securely, the shredded paper is immediately placed in our baler, compressed into bales and sent to recycling facilities not far from our Sheffield site — in Chesterfield and Disley — where they’re made into into hygiene products.

The paper is recycled into soft tissue products, such as toilet paper, hygiene rolls and paper hand towels.

Is all paper recyclable?

There are types of paper that cannot be recycled, such as wax-, plastic- and foil-coated paper, so it’s always important to check the items you are placing in the recycling bin, whether it’s waste from your household or your business.

Since we mostly shred printed documents on behalf of businesses, we can usually absorb any extraneous bits due to the sheer volume of paper, so we don’t tend to ask our customers to check or sort their documents prior to collection.

How much paper do you recycle?

We recycle 100% of the paper we shred, which amounts to 8,500 tonnes per year.

In the UK more widely, paper mill use of recovered paper was estimated at 2,620 kilotonnes in August 2017.

How does recycling paper benefit the environment?

  • Recycled paper uses 70% less energy than making it from raw materials.
  • Recycled paper is thought to produce 73% less air pollution than paper made from raw materials.
  • It takes around 24 trees to make one tonne of newspaper.

How many times can paper be recycled?

It’s estimated that an ordinary sheet of paper can survive five to seven journeys through the recycling process. Its ability to be recycled reduces after each reuse, because the fibres it contains become shorter and shorter through recycling to the point where it cannot be reused as paper again. But after this point the pulp can be used to make products like newspaper or egg boxes.

Where does the paper go when you’ve shredded it?

At Russell Richardson our shredded paper is transported just 17 or 34 miles from our Sheffield shredding plant to mills where it’s recycled into hygiene products.

What is the recycled paper used for?

The type of hygiene products that our shredded paper makes after recycling include:

  • hand towels
  • toilet rolls
  • hygiene rolls

To find out more about the recycled paper products your shredded waste could help to make, click here.

Is there any type of paper that can be shredded but not recycled?

We can shred any paper that contains confidential information or branding but if it is coated and unable to be recycled back into paper products, it’s sent to a waste-to-energy plant.

Will I get proof that my shredded paper has been recycled?

After we have shredded your waste paper safely and securely, it’s immediately compressed into bales and sent for recycling. You will then receive a certificate of destruction, which confirms your documents have been fully destroyed and recycled. We can also provide environmental certificates that tell you how much your waste paper has been recycled over a period of time.

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