What do I do with…?

Recycled Origami Paper Cranes

Paper & Cardboard

So many products we use on a daily basis are made from paper or cardboard. The single- use movement has taken advantage of using paper to create easily disposable products.

Why is paper waste a problem?  It takes an average of 5 liters of water to produce one piece of standard paper. It takes 24 trees to make one ton of paper. Deforestation is a result of paper production. Paper makes up 33% of municipal waste.

Examples: printer paper, notebook paper, cardboard, magazine paper, newspaper, paperboard, card stock, paper containers (cups, plates, boxes, bowls) paper straws, tissue paper, paper napkins, paper towels, construction paper, craft paper, paper bags


  • Don’t print extra copies unless necessary

  • Stop junk mail through Catalog Choice

  • Subscribe to online magazines and newspapers

  • Use email or file sharing to share documents instead of printing

  • Bring personal cups, straws, storage containers

  • Use technology to save files, notes, etc.

  • Buy products with less or no packaging

  • Use cloth towels, handkerchiefs, reusable bags, etc.


  • Use good-on-one-side paper as scratch paper or print on “other” side

  • Use 100% post-consumer recycled content paper

  • Get crafty with leftover paper: make decorations or art sculptures

  • Reuse newspaper and other used paper to wrap gifts

  • Reuse cardboard boxes for storage or sending packages

  • Fold paper cranes from unwanted paper (thanks to Bonnie Tarses for the photo of the 126 paper cranes featured above)


  • These paper products can be recycled:

    • Corrugated cardboard, magazines, office paper, newspaper, clean paperboard, unsolicited direct mail, phone books

      • Remember to keep it all clean and dry

      • Food soiled paper products cannot be recycled

  • Recycling service providers:

    • Garden City Recycling provides residential and business pick up service

      • They accept these paper products: Cardboard (corrugated and non), junk mail, newspaper and magazines, phone books, and Bayern Ecopacks

    • Republic Services provides recycling pick-up service

      • Check out their recycling guide for what paper products are and aren’t acceptable

    • Always contact providers to confirm acceptance policies.


Garden City Recycling
535 Myrtle Street
(406) 493-1528

Republic Services office
1501 Rodgers Street
(406) 543-3157

Republic Services Recycling Center
3207 W Broadway Street
(406) 721-1120

more information

If you choose to buy paper from sustainably-managed forests you can reduce the environmental impact due to paper use.