What can be done with the mounds of newspapers, magazines and mailers that arrive weekly? Today there's increased danger of identity theft, and the volume of mail containing 'confidential' personal information remains. There is a way of using this material without placing it in the weekly trash bag?
The home paper shredder has reached a cost / benefit ratio that deserves serious consideration. These units permit shredding newspapers, magazines, bills, old receipts, solicited and unsolicited direct mail that has confidential information. The plastic bags and bubble wrap packages should not be shredded for use as mulch. These should have labels removed and be bundled according to local ordinances.
The remaining paper, even colored paper from magazines is OK to shred. Place a large plastic bag into a large waste paper container that you can mount or place the shredder. Shred the paper a page or two at a time. When the container or bag is filled, you can compress the strips to compact it and save the better quality material to use as a layer under the bark or wood chips in the flower garden. Walk paths in the garden can be covered with this material and which can be covered with straw or hay to provide a weed or grass barrier.
The paper will decompose in a couple of weeks and depending upon the thickness of the mat, you can use this as a weed barrier and plant right through it. If you do not have a lot of covering material, you can put down a layer, sprinkle it thoroughly with water, and cover it with a thin layer of fresh grass clippings. The surface clippings will dry out and form an effective cover over the dampened paper.
This will solves several situations. You have effective mulch. You have ecologically disposed of a waste product. You have effectively shredded material that could potentially be used to steal your identity.