Shredded Paper Put in Garbage Note: Shredded paper can only be recycled when dropped off at the RRF. Do not place shredded paper in your in your blue recycling cart. For disposal, seal the shredded paper in a paper or plastic bag and place in your trash cart. This prevents the shredded paper from becoming litter. Shredded paper may be composted or vermi-composted in a worm bin. Check out the City of Santa Cruz Home Composting $40 Rebate Program to get started composting. OK to Compost Shredded paper is compostable as long as it’s not colored or glossy. If you are adding a lot of shredded paper to your home compost pile, add some grass to lower the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Ways to Reduce Shred Selectively It’s not always necessary to shred a document entirely. You really only need to shred the parts that contain private information. If protected info is removed and shredded, the rest of the document can be recycled. Cut Back on Junk Mail If you find yourself shredding junk mail to protect personal information, register with the Direct Marketing Association to remove your name from most mailing lists for five years (for a $2 processing fee). This won’t affect companies you’ve purchased from, so use Catalog Choice or the free app PaperKarma to request specific senders to cease mailings. Did You Know? Why Shredded Paper Can Be Hard to Recycle Shredding a piece of paper shortens its fibers, which limits its recycling potential and reduces its value. Shredded paper is too small to be processed by some recyclers. It slips through sorting machinery onto the facility floor, where it gets swept up as trash.