Shredded Paper Put in Garbage Pack Into a Paper Bag Shredded paper can slip through the paper separator if it is recycled, so pack it into a paper bag and staple shut. OK to Compost Shredded paper is compostable as long as it’s not colored or glossy. Mix two-parts paper with one-part grass in your home compost pile. 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 reduces its value. Shredded paper is almost too small to be useful to recyclers. It’s possible for shredded paper to contaminate the recycling process by slipping past the paper-making screens.