Shredded paper cannot be recycled curbside because the pieces of paper are too small to sort, and create litter at the Recycling Center. Home shredding also cannot be placed in your yard waste cart because too much home shredding is contaminated with plastic (e.g. credit cards, envelope windows, shiny paper, etc) -- plastic causes immense problems in compost.
Instead of shredding paper at home, bring confidential materials to free shred events or use paid services. Using a professional shredding company allows the paper to be recycled because it stays separate from all other recyclables and does not need to be sorted.
In 2020, the City of Kirkland will host 6 free shredding events for Kirkland residents:
- Jan. 4 2020 - StyroFest Recycling Event + Shredding
- Mar. 7 2020 - StyroFest Recycling Event + Shredding
- May 2020 (TBD) - Recycling Collection Event
- Aug. 1 2020 - StyroFest Recycling Event + Shredding
- Oct. 2020 (TBD) - Recycling Collection Event
- Dec. 5, 2020 - StyroFest Recycling Event + Shredding
Businesses and community organizations also occasionally offer community shredding events around Kirkland. Some community shred events are listed at https://www.atg.wa.gov/community-shred-events.
Shredding reduces the uses available for paper material because it reduces the length of the paper fibers, so it can only be used in lower quality paper products like tissue or bath products. We encourage you to minimize the amount of material you shred by:
- Shredding only the documents that contain personal information
- Shred only the piece of paper that contains personal information (open envelopes and pull out sensitive pages)
- Shred only the potion of the paper that contains personal information (e.g. tear off the portion with your personal information and shred only that, and recycle the rest of the paper)
- Do not shred any coated (shiny) paper or plastic