Are Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable? (Here’s What to Do)

Are Empty Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable

What do you do with your toilet paper rolls after using them? If you’re like most people, you probably just toss them in the trash. It would be great if you could help the environment by recycling them instead. Are toilet paper rolls recyclable though?

Toilet paper rolls are recyclable and are often accepted by most recycling programs. You can recycle the toilet paper rolls by placing them in your recycling bin or taking them to a local recycling center. Alternatively, toilet paper rolls can also be recycled by composting them instead.

However, there are some things to consider first. For example, if the toilet paper roll is soiled you will need to cut away and dispose of the soiled product in the trash. And in some cases, there are better uses for paper rolls than adding them to the rest of the recycling.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

You can recycle or compost your toilet paper rolls, or you can use them as craft supplies. There are infinite possibilities for something many simply throw away. 

Here are some products to help you get started from Amazon:

1. ECOWAN LIVING Recycle Bin: This recycling bin organizer is useful for when you’re ready to take recycling to a center or to grab your paper (which includes your toilet paper rolls) to take to the compost.

2. VIVOSUN Rotating Batch Compost Bin: This bin circulates the brown and green material to allow more oxygen which helps with decomposition. It also has two sides to it. You put organic material on one side and on the other side is the nutrition-rich compost.

3. Upgraded Washable Watercolor Paint Set: This paint set is non-toxic and perfect for painting toilet paper rolls, without taking away the ability to recycle the paper roll later. The paint set is also easy for children ages 2 and older to use. 

Recycling Toilet Paper Rolls

We can recycle so many of the disposable items we use every day including empty toilet paper rolls. However, recycling is often an overwhelming task for some communities.

We’ll make it more clear for you. 

Are Toilet Roll Cores Recyclable? 

Toilet roll cores are recyclable. They are cardboard products and cardboard is recycled with other paper products. Recycling centers take cardboard material, but it is difficult to process cardboard that is soiled with grease or other non-paper products. 

For example, it’s not good to recycle a pizza box with grease-soaked cardboard. The same is true of a toilet roll core.

If there is a part of the paper roll that is soiled, cut it away and dispose of it in the trash. You can recycle the non-soiled part. 

Can You Put Dirty Cardboard Rolls in Recycling?

You can cut away dirty parts of a cardboard roll, but you should not throw the dirty, or soiled, parts in recycling. The recycling centers are often overwhelmed by the amount of material they get, so they likely will toss any partly soiled paper roll away and not process it. 

The same is true of any paper material. You shouldn’t put a greasy pizza box in recycling either without cutting away the grease-soaked parts.

You can throw away a soiled paper roll, or expired toilet paper, but if it’s soiled with an organic material that’s compostable, you can compost the paper roll. 

Are Toilet Paper Rolls Recycle or Garbage?

Toilet paper rolls are recycled. They are recycled with paper products. If you live in a community that picks up your recycling, you would put it in the blue recycle bin. Some neighborhood communities might have separate containers for paper products. 

If you do live in one of these communities, or you can take your recycling to a center, make sure none of your recyclables are soiled or contain liquids that could stain and create a sticky residue in paper products. 

Are Cardboard Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable?

Cardboard toilet paper rolls are recyclable and are recycled with other paper products. Most recycling centers recycle cardboard in a paper bin. You can either keep a separate bin at home for cardboard and paper, or all recyclables in one bin. 

Some communities pick up residents’ recycling. Most of the time recycling is all placed in the same blue bin that is provided when you move in.

If you are unsure what is recycled, contact your community’s administration.

Toilet Paper Roll Recycling Ideas

You can recycle toilet paper rolls with other cardboard materials in the paper bins at recycling centers. You can also recycle them by repurposing them in your home or work life. Many educators, decorators, and artists use paper rolls for various DIY projects. 

You can use toilet paper rolls in the garden as well. Gardners use them as planters for seedlings which keep them safe from pests like slugs.

Toilet paper rolls are also compostable. Shred to cut the rolls into small pieces and wet them when you add them to a compost pile. 

Where to Recycle Toilet Paper Rolls for Money?

Some recycling centers will pay a small price for recycling. Call your local recycling center to see what they offer. Many recycling centers are free for you to bring your items, but they will not pay you for recycling. 

If you are recycling metal, scrap yards will pay you decent money for it. Also, ask recycling centers or scrap yards what you need to do in order for them to accept your materials.

Some centers need paper sorted a certain way, and only accept a good quality. 

You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Recycle Shower Curtains

Composting Toilet Paper Rolls

Composting is great for the earth and your wallet. You can repurpose items like toilet paper rolls and food scraps when you compost, while you save money on gardening soil and manure. 

Are Empty Toilet Paper Rolls Compostable?

Yes, empty toilet paper rolls are compostable. The best way to compost them is to shred them or cut them into small pieces and wet them with water or moist food scraps. Toilet paper rolls are considered brown material for composting.

It is best to have one part brown material to one part green material. Green material can include grass clippings, vegetables and fruit scraps, eggshells, and coffee.

Brown material can include paper waste, dead leaves, dried sticks and wood chips, and pine straw.  

Are Toilet Paper Rolls Biodegradable?

Toilet paper rolls are biodegradable. They can degrade in as little as three months if they are shredded into small pieces and wet. However, if toilet paper rolls are not wet or exposed to the air, it can take years before they decompose. 

When it comes to toilet paper rolls being biodegradable, they were literally built for this.

When you keep toilet paper rolls out of the natural environment and you keep them dry, they can last a long time.

Many people use toilet paper rolls for crafts and DIY organizing and decorating projects. 

Can Toilet Rolls Go in Compost?

Toilet rolls can go in the compost as brown material along with other paper products, dried leaves, sticks, and pine straw. They decompose fastest when you shred them and make sure they get moisture. 

Oxygen is also useful for composting. You can either stir the mixture yourself with a shovel or stick, or you can buy or make a compost container that is made with ways to circulate air in the mix.

It’s also good to mix one part brown and one part green material. 

Can Toilet Paper Rolls be Composted?

Toilet paper rolls can be composted when they are shredded or cut into small pieces and wetted. These two factors ensure the paper rolls will decompose. It’s also good to get air to the paper by mixing the compost material. 

Good, rich, compost is made with one part green material and one part brown material. Toilet paper rolls are part of the brown material along with pine straw, dead leaves, sticks, and hay.

Green material includes grass clippings, pulled weeds, vegetable scraps, and eggshells. 

You might also enjoy our post on If Toilet Paper Rolls are Biodegradable

How Long Does Toilet Paper Take to Decompose?

Toilet paper can break down in just a few minutes and completely dissolve in a few hours. They are made to break down in the water and do not break down well if they are in a clog because there’s not enough water getting to all of the paper. 

The same is true of toilet paper rolls, but they take much longer. They take months to break down whereas toilet paper takes hours.

But both need water in order to break down. It’s also good for toilet paper rolls to be exposed to air.  

Other Uses for Toilet Paper Rolls

You can recycle toilet paper rolls and you can compost them, but you can also use them for other gardening tricks, and also some arts and crafts. 

What Can I Do with Empty Toilet Paper Rolls?

Other than recycling your toilet paper rolls, you can use them as seedling planters, in crafts and DIY projects, and as a way to store and wrap small items. Teachers and educators often use them for children’s crafts, and decorators use them for DIY projects on a budget. 

Toilet paper rolls are sturdy enough to contain small items, but they are bendable enough to manipulate into a shape that best suits your needs.

One use for them is to cut each end into four flaps to overlap and make a cardboard pocket and put party favors inside.

Where Can I Sell My Empty Toilet Paper Rolls?

You can call your local recycle center, or the closest one to where you are, and ask if they buy recycling. There are many centers that take your recycling for free, but not many can pay you for your recycling. 

If you upcycle your toilet paper rolls into a decor piece or a home organizer, you could sell the product and market it as eco-friendly since you are reusing a disposable material.

You might also be able to sell a bunch to a gardener if you shred them.

Can You Use Toilet Paper Rolls to Start Seeds?

Toilet paper rolls are very useful in starting seeds. They keep the seeds and seedlings safe from slugs and other pests. Plus, as the toilet paper roll decomposes, the nutrients from the cardboard help the soil and plants. 

If you do not have a garden, see if your toilet paper rolls can benefit a friend who does or a community garden.

Schools often garden as well so the kids can learn to garden, and how to grow food for themselves and their community. 

What to Do with Empty Toilet Paper Rolls?

You can use empty toilet paper rolls in the garden as brown compost material, or to plant seedlings. You can use them for crafts and organizers for the home. You can also give them to educators who can use them for activities and crafts. 

There are many ways to use toilet paper rolls because of their shape and because you can manipulate them in a way that suits your needs.

The material is free after its initial use, so you might as well get something else out of the hundreds of toilet paper rolls we go through. 

You might also enjoy our post on Why Your Toilet Paper Smells Bad

What are Empty Toilet Paper Rolls Used For?

After toilet paper rolls are recycled, the shredded material can go into creating something completely new and different. Without recycling, you can use them in a craft or DIY project. Some people use them for organizing small items, and others use them for art and decorating. 

Teachers and other educators can use them for children’s activities and projects. They are used in crafts and STEAM (Science, technology, art, math) projects.

This helps cut the cost of materials if you provide paper rolls for these activities.

Other Disposal Ideas

Some disposal ideas are not made for toilet paper rolls, but you don’t have to throw them in the trash and waste them after their first use.

There are other good ways for toilet paper rolls to be disposed of. 

Are Toilet Paper Rolls Flushable?

Toilet paper rolls are not flushable. Toilet paper rolls are made of sturdy cardboard and is not made to break down quickly and easily. Toilet paper rolls will clog your toilet, drain and pipes for three months or more if they are not removed. 

The only items that should be flushed are a few sheets of toilet paper or a flushable wipe at a time.

These products are made to break down quickly in water and they can even cause issues in the plumbing if too much is flushed at one time. 

You might also enjoy our post on If Toilet Paper Expires

How Do You Dispose of Empty Toilet Paper Rolls?

You can dispose of toilet paper rolls in the regular garbage, with brown compost material for gardening, and in a recycling bin. Some recycling centers will even pay for unsoiled toilet paper rolls. 

If part of the towel paper roll is soiled with grease or oil, or if it is dirty, it’s best to cut away the soiled part and throw it in the trash and recycle or compost the rest.

You can also dispose of toilet paper rolls in an outside fire. They make good starter wood.

Can I Leave Toilet Paper in the Woods?

You should bury the toilet paper you leave in the woods, but you can leave it in the woods and it will decompose on its own. It will take longer to decompose on top of the ground and could harm the ecosystem in that area.

You can also use toilet paper rolls to carry fire starting material and burn the toilet paper roll too.

Toilet paper rolls are also good for holding small items when camping which aids in keeping things tidy and organized. 

Related Questions

What Type of Paper Cannot be Recycled?

Paper that is coated with plastic or wax cannot be recycled. If only part of the paper is coated in a different material, you can cut that part away and still recycle the pure paper part. 

It’s also not good to compost paper that is coated in something else. Some other materials that are not acceptable on paper are glitter, glue, acrylic paint, oil-based paint, and grease.

If the paper product was manufactured with a coating, or if it was added later, it cannot be recycled. 

What is the Cardboard Inside a Toilet Roll Called?

The cardboard roll inside the toilet paper is called many things. Most commonly, it is called a toilet paper roll. It is also called an empty toilet paper roll. The official term for the cardboard roll is the core of the toilet paper.

Some also call toilet paper rolls toilet paper tubes. The Scott Brand even did a commercial using the term “toilet paper tubes”.

It’s been called many other things in other countries, but in the US, it is mostly called toilet paper rolls.

Can Paper Towels be Recycled?

Paper Towel rolls can be recycled with other paper products and cardboard material. The paper towel rolls should be dry and unsoiled when you recycle them. In most recycling centers, paper rolls go in the paper or cardboard bin. 

Some communities will pick up your recycling and most of the time you can place them in a blue recycle bin and can go with all recyclable items.

Contact your local recycle service and ask about how they prefer you recycle and what items they recycle.

What Can You Do with an Empty Paper Towel Roll?

Paper towel rolls are great for crafts and activities for children. You can use them to make art projects, decorating projects, and for organizing. You can paint them, poke holes in them, and fold them to make a number of things. 

Teachers, libraries, and community centers often take donations of toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls for their crafts and activities.

It also provides a second purpose for something that would have just been tossed.

Final Thoughts

I hope you now have many more options and ideas for your toilet paper rolls. I hope this article inspires you to create, garden, or give back to the community.

It’s the little things that don’t cost us anything but time, that can make a huge impact. 

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