Put in your curbside recycling bin or take to the Bainbridge Island Transfer Station.  There is an $14 flat fee at the transfer station that covers mixed recyclables, cardboard, scrap metal and one can of trash.


  • Junk mail
  • Magazines and catalogues
  • Newspapers
  • Office paper
  • Writing paper
  • Colored paper
  • Construction paper
  • Greeting cards (just plain – no batteries, plastic, glitter, 3D objects)
  • Wrapping paper (non-foil)
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Paper towel tubes
  • Food boxes (no liners, PLEASE flatten)
  • Paper bags – Look under “Bags (Grocery)” category for reuse options
  • Phone books
  • Softcover books (tear apart if more than 1″ thick) – Donate if possible.
  • Paper envelopes (no bubble-padded envelopes)

Make sure paper is…

  • Flat, dry and clean
  • Larger than a postcard
  • Without glue, glitter, or other 3D decoration
  • Loose, not in a plastic bag
  • Envelope windows, staples and labels are okay

DO NOT recycle:

  • Milk and juice cartons – Put in trash. (Go here for another use for milk cartons.)
  • Dirty or wet paper – Put in compost if paper has no gloss.
  • Moldy paper or moldy softcover books – Put in trash.
  • Paper smaller than a postcard (e.g., Post-it notes or scraps) – Put in trash.
  • Shredded paper – Put in compost ONLY IF it is regular copy paper or writing paper.  Nothing with plastic or plastic coating is allowed.
  • Paper covered in glue, glitter, or paint – Put in trash.
  • Receipts – Put in trash.
  • Stickers or backing to peelable paper – Put in trash
  • Paper egg cartons -Put bottom half in compost; if top half has a paper label, put in trash.  Or give cartons to Butler Green Farms at the farmers market.
  • Tissue paper – Put in compost; put in trash if has glitter specks.
  • Shiny/glossy gift wrap – Reuse or trash.
  • Padded paper bubble mailers – Reuse or trash.
  • Laminated paper – Put in trash.
  • Paper you can’t tear (ferry tickets, etc.) – Put in trash.


Reduce the amount of unwanted mail filling up your mailbox:

  • Use CatalogChoice.org to stop catalogs and junk mail from coming to your home.
  • Register at YelllowPagesOptout.com to stop receiving phone books.
  • Follow the FTC’s instructions to stop receiving credit card offers and other marketing junk mail.
  • You can also call the phone number listed on catalogs, or contact the company online, and asked to be removed from their specific mailing list.

Use FormsPal to create an array of free, online legal and formal documents for both personal and business use.


Here is a good explanation of the paper recycling process, types of paper, and percentage of post-consumer content recommended for various products.

Last updated 8/10/23