What NOT to recycle

The types of paper collected for recycling can differ from organization to organization.

Listed below are some general guidelines that follow Vangel’s standard recycling parameters. If you don’t find the details here, please check with your organization’s recycling coordinator or contact Vangel and we’ll be happy to help you find the answers you need.


  • Food and items covered with food waste, such as cups, plates, and wrappers – Presence of food waste attracts rodents, at your loading dock, the sorting facility, the mill. Foodservice items are not generally recyclable
  • Specialty papers, such as carbon paper, photographs, blueprints, and thermal fax paper – Contain chemicals and dyes that can’t easily be removed in the recycling process
  • Glass, metal, plastics – Damages equipment and results in an inferior finished product
  • Self-adhesive labels and tapes, including envelopes and mail with adhesive labels on them – Excessive adhesives can cause lumps, holes, or shiny spots in the finished paper product
  • Copy paper wrappers – Fiber is difficult to break down
  • Tyvek™ (overnight-type) envelopes – Looks like paper but is made of plastic (Tip: if you can’t tear it easily, don’t recycle it!)
  • Miscellaneous office material, such as computer disks, loose-leaf binders, slides, transparencies, fasteners, rubber bands – Not paper but they often get into the recycling bin by mistake
  • Restroom papers – For the obvious reasons

Some types of shredded paper may be recycled but should not be placed in the recycling container. It must be bagged and kept separate from non-shredded paper. These procedures prevent the shredded paper, which may contain unacceptable materials, from contaminating the rest of the paper.

Check with your recycling coordinator or contact Vangel to learn if your organization is collecting and recycling shredded paper.