Paper

How do I dispose of paper?

Find out how to properly dispose of paper items (and why) by hovering over the images below.

Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated Cardboard

Recycling.

Must be clean, dry, and free of packing tape/packing materials. Boxes must be flattened.

Computer & Office Paper

Computer & Office Paper

Recycling.

Must be clean & dry. Colored paper is OK.

Books

Books

*Require Extra Step Before Recycling*

Only the pages of paperback and hardcover books can be recycled, so please remove the covers and spines before recycling the pages. The covers of paperback and hardcover books are not recyclable, so they need to go in the trash. 

Paper Bags

Paper Bags

Recycling.

Must be clean & dry.

Empty Toilet Paper & Paper Towel Rolls

Empty Toilet Paper & Paper Towel Rolls

Recycling.

Must be clean & dry.

Cereal Boxes

Cereal Boxes and Other Paper Board

Recycling.

Must be empty, clean & dry. Examples include pasta, beer, soda, and tissue boxes, as well as toilet paper and paper towel rolls.

Ice Cream Cartons

Ice Cream Cartons

Trash

It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of plastic and paper, rendering this item trash.

Milk, Soup, and Juice Cartons

Milk, Soup, and Juice Cartons

Trash

It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of plastic and paper, rendering this item trash.

Napkins & Paper Towels

Napkins & Paper Towels

Trash

These items are so thin, there is not enough paper pulp to be recycled. Try cloth napkins and towels instead, or napkins and towels made of recycled paper.

Waxed Cardboard

Frozen Food Boxes & Other Waxed Cardboard

Trash

Frozen food boxes are lined with wax or a plastic polymer to help preserve and insulate foods. Waxed cardboard is often used to transport produce, seafood, and meat. It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of wax and cardboard, rendering this item trash.

Newspaper

Newspaper

Recycling

Must be clean & dry.

Shredded Paper

Shredded Paper

Recycling

Please try to contain the shreds in a paper bag or small box if possible.

Envelopes

Envelopes

Recycling

Envelopes, even those with windows, are allowed in the recycling. Padded envelopes (lined with bubble wrap) are NOT allowed in the recycling and should be placed in the trash.

Padded Mailers

Padded Mailers

Trash

These envelopes are lined with bubble wrap. It is nearly impossible to separate the plastic and paper, rendering this item trash.

[Photo credit: Surv1v4l1st / CC BY-SA]

Junk Mail

Junk Mail

Recycling

Envelopes, even those with windows, are allowed in the recycling. Other examples of junk mail include magazines and coupon clippers. Visit the County of Santa Barbara's website to learn how to opt out of junk mail.

[Photo credit: "I blame the post office" by Dvortygirl / CC BY-SA]

Paper Egg Cartons

Paper Egg Cartons

Recycling

This type of paper is reffered to as "molded pulp". Be sure to remove any egg shells from the carton prior to recycling.

Molded Pulp Cup Holders

Molded Pulp Cup Holders

Recycling

Must be clean & dry. This "molded pulp" is a type of paper.

Packing (Kraft) Paper

Packing (Kraft) Paper

Recycling

Must be clean & dry.

Pizza Boxes

Pizza Boxes

Trash

Pizza boxes have historically been contaminated with food and liquid, so they need to go in the trash.

Hot Beverage Cups

Hot Beverage Cups/Lids

Trash

It is extremely difficult to separate the layers of plastic and paper, rendering these items as trash. Reusable cups are the best option.