What To Do With Excess Scrap Paper

Q.  I WORK AT A REAL ESTATE OFFICE. Every week we receive flyers promoting properties..anywhere between 500 to 1000 sheets of paper. This is such a waste to just continually throw out in the trash…can anybody come up with a way to reuse this paper in some fashion? And this is just one office, this goes on at all of them…And I’m not one of those "greenies" either, it’s just such waste. Some of the flyers are colored and some shiny like magazine paper..i know there’s good suggestions out there..please help.

A. I also work in a real estate office. I usually cut the paper that we get (the one sided ones) into 4 quarters and we use them by the phone as scribble or note pads. You will be amazed at how hand they come in especially if you put some by each telephone. The are great for taking messages and the fact that we are recycling makes it all worth the while.

A. The person at the Real Estate Office that is swamped weekly by paper flyers should take a good look at the backs of the flyers. If the backs are free of printing, etc. the paper could then be reused at their own office for information that is going to end up in a file somewhere. Or, they might call the local schools to donate the paper to the elementary schools for art projects. The Kindergarten, first and second graders usually are in need of paper for art projects and with the economy the way it now is, have no extra money for this. The fancier papers would be a godsend to the teachers. Hope this idea helps out. Sherli

A. As a mom of two young children, I use the backs of many types of paper to cut out shapes. Or to glue pictures that are cut out of magazines. My oldest [3] likes to color on plain paper instead of coloring books. So my suggestion if you don’t know any moms or grandmas with little kids that could use them. Contact your local day cares and elementary schools. and maybe even the library. Wish you were in my area. But you gave me a great idea. I will go and check out my local real estate offices. And other businesses to see if they have any paper. Thanks from AL – Sonya

A. Try the local day care… they may need paper for the children’s’ arts and crafts. Also try shredding some and put it in a compost pile. A friend of mine who is on a fixed income welcomes these as ‘scrap’ paper for notes and grocery lists. Look in the want ads for craft classes… call them and ask if they can use scrap paper for paper mache’ – Ruth

A. Why not take all those sheets of paper and drop them off at a community center which undoubtedly has childrens programs and they can put them in a box labeled "Free drawing paper" and let little ones grab a handful to color/scribble on!  SH

A. I worked at an office that saved up their stacks of office paper that was only printed on one side, cut it into 1/4 sheets and used it as scrap paper. A printing company began collecting the paper and gluing stacks together so we actually had "notepads" from the reams and reams of 1-sided printed paper.

Humane societies, kennels, stables, dog breeders LOVE shredded paper to use as animal bedding…..see if any agencies near you could use your donations of shredded junk mail/scrap paper/newspaper.

A. If your office doesn’t have a recycling plan, see if you can get one implemented. The company I work for has white paper recycling bins which are emptied once a week. Junk mail can certainly go into white paper recycling. If the paper is printed on one side only, can it be recycled by using the blank side for rough drafts, can you take some home for your children to draw on, make notes on, etc., can you shred it for packing material? If it is printed in color, is any of it suitable for a pediatric ward, day care, after school care, etc. to use to make collages or something? If it is printed on both sides can you shred it for packing material. My husband’s company (very small company) doesn’t recycle white paper and several of the employees bring home used paper for children to color on, to make notes on, grocery lists on, or for rough drafts of papers for classes. Anything that we print on the computer that isn’t going to be graded or mailed (and sometimes even then) is printed on quick print (saving on ink) and on recycled paper. – Mary

A. I work for a law firm and when the name of the firm changed, or there were reams of dot matrix paper left over or being thrown away, I took it to my daughter’s day care. Kids LOVE to use paper and have things to cut out and paste from flyers. I’m sure just about any day care would love the donation.

A. I reuse any paper that has a blank side at my Karaoke job. I don’t print up fancy slips for people to write on — I just cut letter-size scrap paper into eight equal pieces and set out a stack for everyone to use. I keep pieces that may have some writing on both sides to use myself. I use it all up. If it is blank on both sides, I scribble over what has been written and put it out to be used on the other side! As for the glossy papers, you might check on artists in the area. Many of them make their own paper and could use your unwanted scrap.

A. 1. Cut paper in quarters & use the back for scratch paper.
2. Use whole sheets with blank backs to run through the printer for draft copies or reports that only you will see.
3. Are they suitable for daycare use? ie. can the kids color on the back?
4. Gardeners can shred paper for compost.
5. Shredded paper can be used for package padding — mailing, moving, etc.- Meg

A. To the lady with the real estate brochures – If they are only one sided your local school might like to try them for painting projects as they may be less prone to leak through. Also, some photo copy shops may be open to recycle them into note pads for anyone to use. Check around and perhaps encourage this as a free service to people who frequent the copy shop. Make sure you only give them the blank one sided, and do not give them any sensitive or confidential information.

A. In reply to excess ads in the real estate office. My daughter shreds the excess paper at her office and delivers it to pet shops. I don’t know if the paper you have would be suitable for this, but you could enquire.

A. If the real estate person’s paper is only printed on one side, the blank side can be used in a notebook. At the college where I work, the students have started making notebooks from the paper in the recycling bin that’s only been printed on one side. They collect empty cereal boxes to make cardboard covers, by opening them out, and flattening them and cutting them to just over the 8 1/2 X 11" size, and hole punch the left side of the covers and the paper, attach a binder ring through each hole and they have a notebook to take to class. These have become really popular with the students – especially ones made with the kid’s cereal covers like Coco puffs and Lucky Charms! They’ve even sold them for $1 as a fundraiser for their environmental projects on campus.

A. For the person who needs an answer to what to do with all the paper coming into her office I have a couple of suggestions. Make "scratch paper" piles of the paper so that every person who needs paper either at work or at home can take a bunch. Not only do the backs of junk mail paper provide endless opportunities for shopping lists, scratch paper for homework, "work-it-out" paper for when various kinds of puzzles are hard and you don’t want to look up the answers or spend time erasing wrong ones, drawing paper, and other stuff one inveribly need to have paper for but nobody in your office will ever need to shop for paper ever again except maybe for lined paper for their kids to bring to school. Most of the time pencils will work fine on paper but for the shiny paper only ink will show up so use pens for those. Hope that helps a little.

A. Hi! I teach school and reuse the other side of the above paper. I call it "HOBO" paper because it doesn’t have a home. I have a large box that I keep it in. When the other teacher are running off papers and mess up or run too many, this is where I get my HOBO paper. It is great for the kids who don’t have any paper for class because only one side is used. I have a "HOBO" hole punch that they use to punch holes in the paper and put it in their notebook. We do alot of graphic organizers and it is great for this as you are not using a whole good sheet of paper. I have had great success with it – also use it to run forms off on the unused side that I need everyday – absentee, permission slips, class count, etc. The kids all get a kick out of Mrs. Owens and her HOBO paper.

A. I also use scrap paper to make handmade paper and add foliage for interest. – Diana

A. How about keeping a box set aside for the collection of the paper,and when full,dropping it off at your local pre-school,daycare or kindergarten.They often love getting other "waste" such as polystyrene peanuts,bubble wrap and off cuts of timber etc. – Pippa

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