Star-K advises on “shaimos”:


Newspapers and magazines which contain secular information should not be put into shaimos as they degrade the real shaimos that are buried with them, especially if the advertisements and pictures are not within the spirit of the Torah. The pages that do contain Torah may be removed and placed into shaimos if the other side of that page also contains Torah or is blank. Alternatively, the whole paper may be put into a bag which should then be put into another bag so that the paper is double wrapped, known as kli besoch kli. It can then be placed into the garbage or into recycling. Missionary material that contains pesukim may be burnt or double wrapped and discarded. Tapes and CD’s containing divrei Torah and shiurim may be disposed of after they have been double wrapped in plastic.

In our area we are requested to recycle paper waste.

Q1] Is it permitted to put pages of newspapers that contain Torah into the paper recycling? I saw in Israel that packets of toilet paper contained certification that no recycled divrei Torah were used in its manufacture.

Q2] The paper waste recycling bin cannot contain plastic. If it is allowed to dispose of these materials in the paper recycling bin, can one satisfy the “double wrapping rule” by wrapping the materials in other, secular paper or in a paper bag.

I have asked this question of the Federation of Synagogues in the UK who do not allow to recycle pages of newspapers that contain Torah because it may reappear as toilet paper. I know a Rabbi who says that these materials may be recycled if double-wrapped in paper. I am not asking a shaaloh here. I want to find sources that I can study to form my own opinion. I would also like a digest of the views of these sources.

Possible sources that I have found:


http://www.shtaygen.net/horadot/geniza/2.pdf see the table on p 2.


The answer to this question Sheimos in newspapers and parsha sheets is highly relevant but quotes almost exclusively from the Star-K article above and so does not adequately address my issue.

  • 3
    This is Mi Yodeya post #100000
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 16:24
  • 1
    @DoubleAA To celebrate, we should print out 100,000 copies of that post and put stacks of them on every shul's "take one" table/stand.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


See the discussion here, particularly the source sheet in second answer.

Do photocopies of torah need to be put in shaimos?

  • 3
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Could you edit to add a summary of what it says? Including the link for further reading is good, but we also want answers to contain answers and not just point to them. Thanks. Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 16:54

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