Looking for new ways to use your paper shredding’s? If you have ever tried to re-cycle paper shredding’s, you would have found there are problems.
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Why can’t I just recycle my shredded paper?
Paper for recycling is generally put out for pick up in whole sheets. When you shred paper it creates problems for the recyclers. Feeding in already shredded paper is not what they are set up for, so it can ball up and jam their machines. Most recycling pick ups will not accept shredded paper.
In fact once you mix shredded paper in with all of your other recyclables, it becomes non-recyclable!
You can check with your local recycler if they will accept bagged paper shreds, or if they hold shredding events. But it may be best to take a second step at home.
How to use your paper shredding’s
How you use your paper shredding’s depends a bit on what type of shredder you have.
One big thing to make sure of with all these paper shredding uses, do not have mixed in plastic! Credit cards, clear plastic windows on envelopes, staples, photographs, of super glossy pages. These materials should be disposed of in the regular trash. Along with any contaminated batches.
If you know what you want to do with the paper, you can save it up to the side and shred when you want to. Empty your shredder bucket and start fresh with only paper!
If you have an old paper shredder or just a cheap one, you may be left with strips of paper after you shred it.
A strip shredder is a level P-1 and P-2 security, the least secure, as it only makes one cut as the paper goes through the shredder. The good thing is these are very useful for reuse!
Strip cuttings are the best for packing material. Because they string together, they make great packing material for shipping, moving house, or storage of fragile items.
Another good use of strip-cut paper is for pet bedding. Small mammals: mice, gerbils, guinea pigs, rats, rabbits, weasels, ferrets, and stoats, will all appreciate the strip paper shreds. They can work them up as nesting material.
Even chickens and other birds may enjoy the shredded bedding. Again be sure not to use glossy paper for the pets.
Strip-cut paper shreddings are also good for stuffing material. Maybe not for sewing that stuffed animal toy, but for costumes, scarecrows, and vases for dry flower displays. Stuff a toilet roll for a nice little fire starter!
Cross-Cut Paper Shredding’s
If you have a cross-cut style paper shredder, your paper is better for a few other new uses.
Cross-cut paper may not be as good for packing and pet bedding, but now you can use it in other ways. The garden is a great place to use up cross cut paper shredding’s.
In The Garden
Paper is considered brown in the brown/green mix and is a great source of carbon. Again don’t use contaminated shreds, avoid glossy paper, and don’t overdo it. Mix a handful or two into your compost each time you add green waste. Don’t dump the whole lot as it could blow away or over power your compost.
In the garden as well as using the paper in the compost, you can use it as mulch. Spreading it around flower beds can suppress the growth of weeds, regulate soil temperature and generally improve fertility. The paper will allow fertilizer and water to reach the soil whilst starving weeds of sunlight and nutrition. I like to use shredded cardboard, so it blends in. You need a powerful paper shredder with at least a 12-page max to shred cardboard.
Arts and Crafts
You can make your own paper out of your old paper! Cross-cut paper is a good place to start in the paper-making process. The smaller the paper shreds, the finer your finished paper will be.
The process will take some time and some mess, but you will end up with some very artsy paper to use for cards and other artwork.
The biggest part is the frame. You could use an old picture frame from the thrift store, and re-cover it with fly screen. You will need a plastic tub big enough to hold your frame. For simplicity, you can pick up this pre-made frame and mesh kit here.
You will need to mix the paper shredding’s in your blender, adding water to make a pulp. To dry the new paper, you will need the blotting sheets. Pick up an extra pack of reusable blotting sheets.
Making paper clay
If you are feeling extra crafty, you can make some paper clay from your shredding’s. This video shows you how to make the clay, the rest is up to you!
New ways to use your paper shredding’s
We hope you are inspired by this article to use your paper shredding’s one more time.
If you have pets that can use the bedding, you will have a constant supply of clean bedding for them. And in the garden, your shredding will disappear in about three weeks in the compost and a little longer on the garden beds. Worms just love paper.
You might like: Finding the Best paper shredder for your Home Office.