Can Staples Be Recycled?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: December 20, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

When you’re recycling papers or documents with staples, you don’t have to worry about removing the staple first. This is because staples are recyclable. 

Any recycling program will accept staples, and you can place leftover staples in the recycling bin with other steel products.

Have you ever wondered if staples can be recycled? You’ve come to the right page. 

Today, we’re going to discuss if staples are accepted at recycling centers and what you can do with your old staples. 

Keep reading to learn more.

Can staples be recycled?

Can staples be recycled? Staples are made out of steel, so they can be recycled. There are two types of staples that are commonly used, stainless steel staples and zinc-plated steel staples. 

Both of these types of steel are accepted at recycling centers. However, newer staples often feature plastics. These staples can be recycled as well without issue.

It’s common for people just to toss their old staples in the garbage bin when they are through with them. However, you don’t have to let them go to a landfill. 

Those old staples can be recycled along with other steel, paper, cardboard, and plastic products. 

If you sort your recycling first, always place the old staples with cans and other tin products. 

Are staples eco-friendly?

While every type of staple can be recycled when you’re done with them, they are not considered eco-friendly. This is because staples are not compostable. 

You can’t place them in the green bin because they won’t break down to transform into compost. 

Since staples are generally made out of steel or plastic, they don’t contain any biodegradable materials. While the steel staples may start to rust over time, they will not decompose to be used in soil. 

Is it okay to recycle documents with staples in them?

If you have paperwork with staples in it, you can place them in the recycling bin as is. 

You do not have to worry about removing the staple first. 

Even if you sort your plastics, tins, and paper products, you don’t have to when it comes to staples. 

This is because the recycling center removes the staples during the recycling process. 

At the recycling center, all the staples will be sorted together by machines. 

The staples then get compacted together, which makes it easier to divide the metal pieces. 

Machines then shred the staples into tiny metal fragments. These pieces are much smaller than the staples originally were.

After they have been shredded, the staple fragments will then be melted down into liquid steel. This is how the staples get recycled to turn into other products.  

What is the best way to recycle staples?

Although recycling programs will accept documents with staples in them, you are making things easier for them by removing the staples yourself. 

If you remove staples to recycle them, it’s not recommended to simply place them in the recycling bin. Staples have small sharp edges, which easily catch other objects. 

What you should do is keep a separate jar or container to keep old staples in. When it is full, you can place the jar directly in your recycling bin and you will not have to worry about the staples getting stuck in other objects. 

Can cardboard staples be recycled?

Cardboard staples are thicker and stronger than regular staples, These staples are made out of copper instead of steel or plastic. 

The leads a lot of people to wonder whether or not recycling centers will accept them as well.

Copper is a recyclable metal that can be melted down and used to make other products. 

You can definitely add copper staples to a jar of staples for recycling.

Additionally, if you have difficulties removing the staples from the cardboard, you can recycle the cardboard with the staples intact. 

Since these staples are stronger, it is very difficult to get them out and you may injure yourself trying. Use a different method to break down the box for recycling and leave the staples in it. 

Final thoughts- Can staples be recycled?

If you work in an office, you may be wondering what you can do with all of your old staples. 

You don’t have to throw them away in the garbage, instead, you should save them for recycling. 

Staples can be recycled and should be placed with other steel and metal products, like tin cans. 

This way, your office doesn’t have to add an abundance of staples to the landfill.

While you don’t have to remove the staples from paperwork and cardboard first, it is recommended to if you can. This makes the process quicker at the recycling center. 

Try to avoid tossing loose staples in the recycling bin as well because they can easily get caught on other items, which creates more work for the people at the recycling center. 

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