As we become more conscious of our personal information security, shredding paper before putting it out for recycling is becoming more common place. Normally, shredded paper can easily be recycled since historic recycling programs were dual stream in design; paper in one stream, commingled cans and bottles in another.
With more and more programs going to a single stream system; paper, cans and bottles together, we are facing the loss of shredded paper recycling in curbside programs. Simply stated, the screening mechanisms that are used in single stream plants treat the shredded paper as garbage as it falls through the screens.
Since more and more programs are moving to single stream recycling, we will lose more of the paper resource. Or, we will be forced to initiate a separate collection for shredded paper which would defeat the entire point of single stream convenience.
It seems that every time we make another accommodation to our society of convenience, we do yet more damage to our recycling and environmental programs.
Single stream recycling is clearly not a panacea.