Living Columns & Blogs

Various types of paper can be recycled curbside

Most types of paper can be recycled in Centre County. We make it easy for residents to recycle paper so it does not end up in the landfill. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked paper recycling questions:

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

A: Newspaper should 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. No milk or juice cartons, please. Paper and plastic grocery bags are great for bagging paper.

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. In addition, if paper is bagged, it has less of a chance to get wet in a rain or snowstorm.

Q: Why must I sort my paper for curbside collection when it can be mixed together at 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. Sorted material results in a higher quality end product, which allows the authority to get increased revenue. 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, next to or under 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 top of a pizza box is clean, it may be separated from the bottom of the box and any liner and recycled along with corrugated cardboard.

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 may also be recycled as well as paper with adhesive, like sticky notes.

Q: Are books recyclable?

A: Paperback books may be recycled with mixed paper. If you have a hardcover book, please remove and throw the covers in the trash and then place the remainder of the book with your mixed paper.

I hope this helps readers 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 the address below.

Amy Schirf is education coordinator for the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority. For more recycling news or to request to receive facility updates, email aschirf@centrecounty