Good Life

Recycling | Remember the rules for paper recycling

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding mixed-paper recycling in Centre County:

Q. How should I prepare my mixed paper for curbside recycling collection?

A. Newspaper should always be kept separate from all other types of paper and must be bagged or bundled. All other types of paper (magazines, catalogs, office paper, junk mail, shredded paper, paperboard, etc.), must be bagged or bundled together. Paper and plastic grocery bags work great for bagging paper.

Effective April 7, all paper (newspaper, mixed office paper, paperboard, etc.) must be bagged or bundled or they will not be taken.

Q. Why must I bag my paper?

A. It is safer and more efficient for the drivers to toss bags into the curbside trucks. Loose paper blows out of the bins and trucks on windy days.

Q. Why must I sort my paper for curbside collection when it can be mixed together at Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority recycling drop-off and blue Toter locations?

A. The majority of the paper that we process is collected by our curbside recycling trucks. The trucks have compartments to maintain the sorting done by our curbside recycling customers. This makes quality control much easier at the recycling plant. The authority has maintained long-term relationships with its paper recycling markets due to the sorting diligence of our residents and employees.

Q. Can I recycle corrugated cardboard at the curb?

A. Yes. Corrugated cardboard must be flattened and placed in or next to the curbside recycling bin.

Q. Why aren’t pizza boxes recyclable?

A. Pizza boxes can be contaminated with food residue that causes problems in the recycling process. However, if the tops of the boxes are clean, they may be recycled along with corrugated cardboard.

Q. What is paperboard?

A. Paperboard typically is used in packaging such as cereal boxes. It is like cardboard, only thinner, and is not corrugated. Examples of recyclable paperboard include food boxes, shoe boxes, toilet paper and paper towel rolls, tissue boxes, tablet backs, etc. Milk and juice cartons are not considered paperboard and should not be placed in our recycling containers.

Q. Can I recycle shredded paper?

A. Most definitely. Please make sure to contain shredded paper in a plastic or paper bag.

Q. Are staples, sticky notes, envelopes with windows, etc., safe to recycle?

A. Yes. Paper with staples may be placed in the recycling bin. The staples will be removed during the recycling process. Envelopes with windows can be recycled, as can paper with adhesive, such as sticky notes.

Q. Are books recyclable?

A. Paperback books may be recycled with mixed paper. If you have a hardcover book, please make sure to remove and toss the covers. Place the remainder of the book with your mixed paper.

I hope this helps to better understand mixed paper recycling in Centre County. If I did not cover a question you have about paper recycling, feel free to call our office at 238-7005 or send an email to