Are Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable: A Guide to Recycling Toilet Paper Rolls

Are Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable: A Guide to Recycling Toilet Paper Rolls

The average American household uses approximately 140 rolls of toilet paper per year. With the vast majority of TP rolls consisting of cardboard, this generates a significant amount of waste. An important question arises: Are toilet paper rolls recyclable?

The short answer is yes. However, proper recycling requires following specific steps. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of recycling toilet paper rolls, including:

  • Whether TP rolls can be recycled
  • How to recycle TP rolls properly
  • Creative ways to reuse TP rolls
  • Environmental benefits of recycling TP rolls

By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make sustainable choices when disposing of used toilet paper rolls. We can collectively reduce waste and save precious natural resources with small adjustments.

Key Takeaways:

  • Toilet paper rolls can be recycled, but they need to go in with cardboard recycling, not paper recycling. Make sure the rolls are empty first.
  • Toilet paper rolls can be composted as they are biodegradable and made from cardboard. Make sure they are dry and chemical-free first.
  • Toilet paper rolls are biodegradable and will break down within weeks to months. Moisture and heat speed up the process.
  • Toilet paper rolls can be sold online for crafters/artists to reuse. Collect a large quantity first for profitability.
  • Toilet paper rolls can be upcycled and reused for many DIY crafts and organizers around the home, like seed starters, cord organizers, bird feeders, etc.
  • Recycling toilet paper rolls helps reduce waste and saves trees/resources since the cardboard can be remade into new paper products.

Are Toilet Paper Rolls Recyclable?

When recycling, most of us have the basics down – separate the plastics, cans, paper, and glass and toss them in the appropriate curbside bins. Easy enough, right?

But what about when it comes to toilet paper rolls? Those ubiquitous cardboard tubes that we go through by the truckload each year. Are they recyclable?

The short answer is: yes, toilet paper rolls are recyclable! This is great news since we can easily reduce waste from the 140 TP rolls the average household uses annually.

However, there’s a bit more nuance to recycling toilet paper tubes than you may realize. While they’re made from cardboard, you typically can’t just chuck them with your routine paper recycling.

Toilet paper rolls need to go in with cardboard recycling, not standard paper recycling. This is because of the different materials and processes used to recycle paper vs. cardboard.

I know, I know – it’s an extra step. But trust me, it’s a small price to pay to keep hundreds of toilet paper tubes out of landfills each year!

Here are some top tips for recycling TP rolls like a pro:

  • Make sure tubes are empty before recycling. Give them a quick check for any residual bits of TP.
  • Store tubes in a small bin or basket in your bathroom until you have a sizable quantity. This saves trips to the recycling center.
  • When it’s time to recycle, put toilet paper tubes in with other cardboard items like cereal boxes, paper towel tubes, etc.
  • Some municipalities may require separating TP rolls from other recyclables, so check your local guidelines.
  • Ensure tubes are dry and clean. Avoid recycling tubes with food, chemicals, or other residue.

Seems easy enough. By taking these small steps to recycle toilet paper rolls properly, we can divert hundreds of tons of waste from landfills each year.

The next time you finish a toilet paper roll, think twice before tossing that empty cardboard tube in the trash. With a small adjustment to your recycling routine, you can help conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and give TP tubes a new lease on life.

How to Recycle Toilet Paper Rolls

Now that we’ve covered the basics on whether toilet paper rolls are recyclable (they are!), let’s dive into the nitty-gritty details of how to recycle them properly.

First, set up a designated TP roll recycling station in your bathroom. This can be as simple as a small bin, basket, or bag where you’ll collect tubes after using each roll.

Pro Tip: Consider stashing it under the sink or in a closet if space is tight. The key is keeping it within arm’s reach, so it’s easy to remember to recycle each tube.

Once your collection bin is full, you’ll want to empty it into your curbside recycling bin or take it to your local recycling center. Be sure to follow your municipality’s guidelines on separating cardboard from other recyclables.

When getting TP tubes ready for recycling, there are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Remove any excess toilet paper clinging to the tubes by giving them a quick swipe or shake.
  • Ensure tubes are dry and clean. Avoid recycling wet or soiled tubes – these can contaminate other recyclables in your bin.
  • Flatten tubes to save space, if needed. Some recycling centers prefer or require tubes to be flattened before recycling.

And that’s it – you’re ready to keep those TP tubes out of the landfill and make them into new cardboard products!

If curbside pickup isn’t offered in your area, see if any nearby recycling centers accept cardboard. Or, consider even more eco-friendly options like composting or reusing toilet paper tubes.

With a few small habit adjustments, you’ll recycle toilet paper rolls like a sustainability superstar!

Creative Ways to Reuse Toilet Paper Rolls

So you’re crushing the TP roll recycling game. Nice work! But did you know you can take your sustainability game to the next level by reusing toilet paper tubes?

Creativity can transform these humble cardboard cylinders into handy organizers, fun DIY projects, and eco-friendly crafts.

Here are some of my favorite ways to upcycle TP rolls:

Seed Starters

Turn toilet paper rolls into biodegradable pots for starting seeds indoors.

  • Cut some slits in one end of the tube to fold up the “bottom” of the pot.
  • Fill with soil and add seeds!
  • Once sprouted, plant directly in the ground – the cardboard will decompose naturally.

Cords and Wrapping Paper Organizers

Corral cords or tidy up gift wrap rolls by storing them neatly inside TP tubes.

  • Wind up cords, ribbons, wrapping paper, etc., then slip them inside tubes to keep them organized.
  • Label tubes using masking tape and a marker to easily ID what’s inside.

Arts and Crafts Materials

TP tubes are perfect for small hands! Upcycle them into organizers for crayons, markers, paintbrushes, and other art supplies.

  • Decorate the tubes with stickers, glitter, and other embellishments to make them fun and personalized.
  • Use tubes to teach kids about recycling and reusing household items.

Bird Feeders

Transform TP tubes into cute bird feeders for your backyard or garden.

  • Poke some holes near the top and thread string through to hang.
  • Spread peanut butter or birdseed inside, or roll in suet.
  • Hang from a tree and watch the birds nibble away!

With a little imagination, toilet paper rolls can be upcycled into endless organizational tools, craft projects, and decorations. Get the whole family involved – it’s a fun way to reduce waste!

The next time you finish a roll of TP, think creatively about how you could give the leftover tube a second life. You’ll help the planet and declutter your home at the same time.

The Environmental Benefits of Recycling Toilet Paper Rolls

Now, it’s clear that recycling those leftover toilet paper tubes is a no-brainer. But why does it matter in the grand scheme of things? What are the real environmental benefits?

First and foremost, recycling TP rolls helps conserve natural resources like trees, water, and energy.

Most toilet paper is made from virgin tree pulp. Recycling the cardboard tubes saves trees from being chopped down to make new paper products. The EPA estimates recycling 1 ton of cardboard saves 46 gallons of oil, 7 trees, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, and 9 cubic yards of landfill space.

It also significantly reduces waste and pollution. In the US alone, nearly 150,000 tons of TP rolls are tossed in the trash yearly. Diverting them to recycling centers keeps them out of crowded landfills and incinerators.

Here’s a quick rundown of why recycling TP tubes matters:

  • Saves trees and forests from deforestation
  • Conserves water used in paper production
  • Reduces energy consumption to make new paper
  • Minimizes landfill waste from TP tubes
  • Lowers pollution from producing new cardboard

So, while recycling toilet paper rolls may seem minor, it adds real benefits for the planet when we all pitch in!

As we’ve covered, toilet paper tubes offer a simple way for households to avoid waste and go green. We can collectively make an environmental impact and reduce TP tube trash with small habit changes.


Remembering to recycle toilet paper rolls is an easy win when it comes to being eco-friendly. As we’ve covered, those flimsy cardboard tubes can significantly impact.

By taking a few simple steps to reuse, repurpose, or recycle TP rolls, households can conserve countless trees, gallons of water, and energy together. Plus, we can avoid sending hundreds of tons of waste to landfills each year. It’s a triple win!

Here’s a quick recap on how to be a TP roll recycling pro:

  • Collect tubes in a bathroom bin after use
  • Recycle with other cardboard items.
  • Remember to separate from standard paper recycling
  • Upcycle for DIY crafts and organizers
  • Compost clean, dry toilet paper tubes

With a small habit change, you can make a real difference. Our world has limited natural resources – so it’s up to all of us to use less and recycle more.

Now you can confidently answer the question:

Are toilet paper rolls recyclable?

Yes! Not only are they recyclable – it’s one of the easiest daily habits we can adopt to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Spread the word so we can all lend a hand!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I recycle toilet paper rolls?

To recycle TP rolls, collect used tubes in a bin in your bathroom. When full, empty into your curbside recycling bin alongside other cardboard items. Flattening rolls can save space. Some areas may require separating from paper recycling.

Can toilet paper rolls be composted?

Yes! The rolls can be composted as long as they are empty, dry, and clean. Toilet paper tubes will break down naturally along with other compost materials. Tearing into smaller pieces first speeds up decomposition.

What are creative ways to reuse toilet paper rolls?

Get crafty with TP tubes by upcycling them into seed starters, hobby organizers, bird feeders, DIY crafts for kids, and more. Let your imagination run wild!

Why is recycling toilet paper rolls good for the environment?

Recycling TP rolls saves trees, water, and energy. It also keeps waste out of landfills and reduces pollution. Recycling cardboard creates a closed loop where tubes are made into new paper products.

Are toilet paper rolls better recycled or reused?

Re-reuse toilet paper tubes when possible through upcycling and repurposing for maximum environmental benefit. However, if not reusable, recycle them responsibly to avoid waste.

Let us know if you have any other questions! Proper toilet paper roll disposal is easier than you think.