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Paper and card - ways to reduce, reuse and recycle

Includes magazines, directories, books, cardboard, greetings cards, junk mail and shredded paper.Mixed paper and card icon

Our advice for this material is different for households and businesses.

Advice for households



  • Donate books in good condition to charities.
  • Donate recent magazines to good causes such as waiting rooms for doctor's surgeries and hospitals (but check first to see if they would like them).


Torn and shredded paper and card such as toilet and kitchen roll tubes and egg boxes are ideal to add to garden waste and kitchen waste in your compost bin. To find out how to make perfect compost or how to purchase a discounted compost bin, visit the Surrey Composting website.

Kerbside collections are provided by your local borough or district council. All accept paper and card in slightly different formats, so check first.

All of our recycling centres accept mixed paper and card.

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Advice for businesses

It is illegal to dispose of business waste through facilities provided for householders, including household kerbside collection bins, street bins, recycling banks or recycling centres. For information on handling and disposing of business waste see our business waste page.


  • Buy only what you need. Think of stock control and how to streamline processes across departments.
  • Ask your staff to 'think before they throw'. Someone else may want to use it.
  • Print only when you have to and use double-sided copies.
  • Put reminders on printers and photocopiers to print double-sided.
  • Don't use bin liners for collecting dry waste.
  • Replace paper towels with hand dryers.
  • Send emails to save paper.
  • Remove your company's name from junk mail/fax services.


  • Use waste paper as note paper/convert scrap paper into memo pads.
  • Use cups, mugs and glasses rather than disposable plastic and paper cups.
  • Reuse Jiffy bags and envelopes for internal use.
  • Reuse incoming boxes for outgoing deliveries.
  • Donate old magazines to libraries, hospitals, doctors surgeries and elderly people's homes.
  • Reuse shredded paper for packaging.


  • Buy recycled paper for your office. The quality is just as good as non-recycled paper.