Paper recycling will help you do your bit for the planet

Waste operative returning paper recycling box to the kerbside
East and North Herts Councils are encouraging residents to do their bit to help the environment and keep service costs down by separating their paper from their mixed recyclables and general waste.

In 2022/23, East Herts and North Herts residents recycled 2,084 tonnes of paper. Despite these efforts, a substantial amount of paper is still being thrown away in refuse bins. A study of East Herts bins carried out in 2020 showed that, on average, 9% of the content of refuse bins was paper. The study also found that many residents are not using the box collection service for paper but are using their mixed recycling bin instead. 

Recycling paper correctly uses much less energy than making paper from scratch. By following the council’s ‘Recycle Right’ guidelines and keeping paper separate and free from contamination, it is more easily turned into new products, which in turn helps reduce the cost of providing these services to residents.

The councils collect paper separately from other recyclables. It is loaded into its own compartment in the recycling vehicle and transported to Palm Recycling who turn it into newsprint and other paper products.

Paper is one of the easiest things to recycle, everything from magazines, brochures, catalogues, and newspapers, to post-it notes, white envelopes (even with windows) and all paper colours except brown are accepted. 

The council’s three top tips for paper recycling are:
•    Keep it separate and put out for collection in your box – no need to put your box out for every collection if it isn’t full. 
•    Keep it dry – no need to put your box out if it’s raining, save it for another collection. 
•    Prevent litter – put shredded paper in a paper bag in your box and avoid putting your box out on a windy day. 

Councillor Tim Hoskin, Executive Member for Environmental Sustainability at East Herts Council, said: "Recycling paper separately is really important. We've addressed past concerns about inner paper boxes going missing with our contractor and are now providing larger kerbside boxes instead. The boxes allow residents to recycle more, higher quality paper and, by having the box separate from the bin, increases the capacity in the mixed recycling bin to allow for more cardboard, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, tins, cans, and glass.

“I would encourage all residents to order a kerbside paper recycling box if they don’t already have one. It’s important that we all do our bit for the environment and recycling more of our household waste in the right way is an easy starting point.”

To order a kerbside paper recycling box, visit the council's website.

To find out more about how and what can be recycled, visit