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Are Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable? What You Need to Know!

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is something we go through large amounts of, and the cardboard rolls can pile up in the bathroom wastebasket, making many people wonder if they are recyclable. Fortunately, toilet paper rolls are recyclable, so keep reading as we explain how to dispose of them properly and provide several ways to recycle them to make your home more environmentally friendly.

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Are Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable?

Yes, manufacturers make the vast majority of toilet paper rolls from cardboard, which is 100% recyclable.

How Do I Dispose of My Paper Towel Rolls Properly?

bamboo toilet paper on grey wooden table
Image By: Serhii Ivashchuk, Shutterstock

Recycle Bin

Fortunately, most people can throw their old toilet paper rolls right into their recycle bin, which is easy and convenient. However, if you’re unsure, ask a neighbor or contact your local recycling plant to verify that it accepts cardboard with its curbside pickup service.

Recycling Center

Since cardboard is so easy to recycle, if your local recycling center does not take it in the curbside pickup, it will likely take it if you deliver it. The recycling center may also hold events where you can take your cardboard and other items for recycling.

Compost Heap

Toilet paper rolls are a brown compost ingredient with a high carbon content that you can add to your compost project. The compost will help create better soil for your garden and plants, reduce your environmental footprint, and help you get rid of food waste, toilet paper rolls, and more.

clay soil and sand compost
Image Credit: Jose Cabeza, Pixabay

Seed Starter

You can use toilet paper rolls as handy seed starters if you enjoy gardening. Once the seeds start to grow, you can plant the entire roll into the ground, and it will biodegrade naturally, helping you recycle your toilet paper roll while reducing the risk of shocking your plants or damaging the roots.

Bird Feeder

It’s easy to coat a toilet paper roll with suet and seed to create a DIY bird feeder. Many colorful songbirds like to use backyard feeders, and the toilet paper roll will biodegrade after a few rainfalls, so you won’t need to worry about a mess.

Cat Toy

If you are one of the millions of American homes with at least one cat, a toilet paper roll makes a fantastic cat toy. It’s lightweight enough for them to carry and bat around, and it rolls quickly, providing plenty of stimulation and exercise.


Toilet paper rolls are an indispensable craft item. Use them to make storage containers, hold hair ties, or store string or yarn. Many people even use them as gift boxes and penholders.

Bamboo toilet paper
Image By: Serhii Ivashchuk, Shutterstock

Can I Recycle the Toilet Paper?

Unfortunately, toilet paper is usually not recyclable at your local recycling plant, even unused, because it breaks down into too fine a pulp. Still, it doesn’t hurt to call and ask. Otherwise, you can recycle unused toilet paper in a compost heap or give it to someone in need.

Interesting Facts and Statistics About Toilet Paper

  • According to a 2020 report, while 326.38 million people admit to using toilet paper, 2.19 million use an alternative.
  • The most common alternative to toilet paper is the bidet, which uses water to clean and is better for the environment.
  • Every day, we use 30,000 trees’ worth of toilet paper.
  • A public toilet paper roll gets used an average of 71 times, with 61% of the people using the paper for nose care.
  • The Pentagon uses 666 rolls of toilet paper each day.
  • Most people reach for a new toilet paper roll every 5 days.
  • About 72% of Americans hang the toilet paper roll with the end going over the top and consider that the right way to hang it — but those with a cat might choose the wrong way instead!
  • Americans average 5 sheets of paper per use.
  • Americans use about 57 sheets of toilet paper every day.
  • The average American uses 100 rolls of toilet paper annually.
  • Manufacturers make a little over 83 million rolls of toilet paper each day.
  • In many countries, you don’t flush toilet paper after you use it.
Colored Toilet Paper_shutterstock_SarahLucy
Image Credit: SarahLucy, shutterstock

house divider Conclusion

Cardboard toilet paper rolls are recyclable, and you can almost always throw them into your recycling bin for curbside pickup. If your recycling plant does not pick up cardboard, you can usually deliver it in person or ask for a suitable location. The rolls are also good additions to your compost heap and make great seed starters and bird feeders. If you have children or enjoy crafts, toilet paper rolls are also perfect for DIY projects.

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Featured Image Credit: 13276418, Pixabay


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