Magazines & Catalogs

Alternative ways to recycle
Recycling Bin

The San Luis Obispo County Library accepts magazines less than one year old.

995 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA | (805) 781-5991
Hours: Monday – Wednesday 10am – 8pm, Thursday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Map & Directions


Staples Are OK

You do not need to remove staples before recycling magazines and catalogs. The recycling process for paper can handle these small contaminants.

Perfume Bottle

Remove Perfume Samples Before Recycling

Perfume sample inserts are not paper, so they can’t be placed in paper recycling. Remember to remove these inserts before recycling the magazine.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

Mail to collects and distributes magazines and gives them to children, teens and adults who are at-risk of illiteracy. You can send old magazines to this organization but will need to pay for shipping. They recommend shipping them in the U.S. Postal Service flat rate boxes. Find out more.

Ways to Reduce

Get Off Mailing Lists

Consider removing yourself from catalog mailing lists. You can do this by signing up with TrustedID Mail Preference Service or by emailing Epsilon, which is a marketing database that is used for product catalogs. Find out more about junk mail.

Did You Know?

How Many Magazines Get Recycled?

Only about 45 percent of magazines in circulation are recycled, even though most places that have paper recycling in place take magazines.

Why Companies Won’t Stop Sending Out Catalogs

Catalogs generate a lot of paper waste, which has not gone unnoticed by companies mailing them out to the masses. Lands’ End is one company who tried to eliminate catalogs from their marketing strategy. In 2000, they did not mail out catalogs, in order to be more environmentally conscious. They reported losing about $100 million that year. Their conclusion: consumers tend to spend more money when they’ve flipped through a catalog.