Are Magazines Recyclable?

Recyclable Magazines? So what do you do with your old magazines? Do you toss them in the trash or are magazines recyclable?

Even with the popularity of online magazine subscriptions, sometimes it’s nice to physically thumb through one.

Reading magazines are also a great way to pass the time in a waiting room. Whether your magazines show up at your door or you get them at the office, eventually you have a large pile of outdated ones.

Recyclable Magazines

Are Magazines Recyclable?

Magazines come with paper pages, and it should mean they can go in your recycling bin. It usually applies to the ads that show up in your mailbox.

These ads often come in a magazine format. You thumb through the pages checking out the latest deals at local stores.

Subscription magazines are a little different. You can recycle these magazines, but it’s a good idea to ask your local recycling organization.

These magazines typically come with glossy pages. The vivid photographs are one of the reasons for the magazines’ popularity.

While the printed paper is made from recyclable wood pulp, it also contains clay. The clay additive fills in any gaps left by the wood fibers, creating smooth pages. It’s also what makes the photographs pop.

Recyclable Magazines

Can You Put Glossy Recyclable Magazines in the Recycle Bin?

It’s time to clean out your old glossy magazines, but can you put them in the recycling bin? Are Magazines Recyclable?

 Usually, you can go ahead and toss them in with your other paper recyclables. The clay filling added to the paper is recyclable and is accepted at most facilities.

There are exceptions.

Some areas do not pick up magazines in curbside recycling bins. In this instance, you have a couple of options.

You can take your glossy magazines to the recycling center. You may also find dedicated public recycling bins for books and magazines.

These public containers aren’t in every area, but you can find out where yours's are by contacting your local recycling organization.

Recyclable Magazines

How Much of a Recyclable Magazines Can Be Recycled?

You think you are doing everything right for the environment. Your old magazines end up in the recycling bins. You watch the recyclers take them away, but do you know how much of the magazine is recycled? Are Magazines Recyclable?

Even though magazines have paper pages and covers, only a portion is recycled. The reason for this comes down to the additives used to create the magazine. Along with colored inks, magazines also use adhesives to hold the pages together.

 Some also use coatings to give the paper its glossy appeal.

Before the magazines are recycled, these additives are removed.

 It can be an expensive process, and not every recycling facility has the time or technology. In this case, sometimes as little as 20% of the magazine is recycled.


Where Can I Recycle Magazines?

Recycling magazines is easy, even the glossy ones. The obvious way to recycle magazines is to toss them in a recycling bin. Even if the facility only recycles a portion, you are still reducing your environmental impact.

The age of your magazines can give you other recycling options. Current magazines, within a year, are often accepted for donation. Schools, libraries, hospitals, and nursing homes are a few of the places that might want your old magazines.

Depending on the magazines, you might be able to sell them to a collector. Some subscription magazines are collectible. For example, National Geographic and Time.

Magazines with world culture stories or news events that change the global community are often sought after by collectors.

Another way you can recycle old magazines is by using them for crafting projects. You can create scrapbooks, collages, and other projects by clipping out pictures and phrases.


Are Glossy Magazines Compostable?

You have multiple recycling options for your old magazines, but composting is not one of them. Are Magazines Recyclable?

The chemicals in the ink and adhesives are not biodegradable. You can find exceptions with adhesives, but these magazines also do not have glossy pages.

The chemicals can seep into the compost pile, eventually getting into the ground.



Answering the question of are magazines recyclable comes down to a few factors. Simple print ones are, but glossy magazines create a few recycling headaches.

Only a portion of the magazine is recyclable. The remainder often ends up in landfills.

Along with recycling magazines, you can also donate them to local organizations.

The magazines will get plenty of use and you can feel good about them staying out of the garbage.