Can You Throw Away Pay Stubs

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft: Learn How to Safely Dispose of Pay Stubs

You absolutely can throw away pay stubs. However, the question isn’t so much whether you can throw away pay stubs. It is more ‘should you be throwing away’ pay stubs? Let us explain.

Pay stubs should never be thrown away. They almost always contain information about you and your bank account that you don’t want to fall into other people’s hands. The best way to get rid of them is to shred and then recycle them.

Where Can You Throw Away Pay Stubs?

Pay stubs are just paper. Well, at least they should be. This means you can throw them away in paper recycling without any issues.

We know that some places will not have a collection for recycling. If you live in one of these places, you could fill up a bag with all your paper recycling.

You can then take it to your local recycling center. Since paper is one of the most commonly recycled

Yes. You can put in your pay stubs with your standard trash. It will mean that it ends up in a landfill. However, paper isn’t going to have anywhere near the same effect on the environment as many other items, so it isn’t going to be that much of a problem.

That being said, some places will prohibit people from putting paper in their standard garbage bins. If you live there, then you may be ‘enjoying’ some rather substantial fines.

Long story short, always try to ensure that any pay stubs are put in recycling. It benefits the planet that way.

How Long Should We Keep Pay Stubs?

In general, pay stubs should be kept for one year. They can make filing your taxes more accessible and be used as proof of employment if someone needs you to prove that you have a job. After a year, the usefulness of pay stubs drops off.

What Happens When Pay Stubs Are Recycled?

Like all paper, the pay stubs will be pulped up in a big machine. This pulp can then be made into new recycled paper.

The main benefit of recycling your pay stubs and other paper is that the more recycled paper we have, the fewer trees will need to be cut down. Remember, this planet has a massive demand for paper. Countless trees are being cut down every single day to help fulfill this need.

When trees are cut down, it is usually bad for the environment. Remember, trees play a massive role in the air that we breathe. In addition, cutting down trees will destroy the habitats of animals.

Should You Throw Away Pay Stubs

If that wasn’t enough, it takes many resources to create paper from a freshly felled tree. All of this is going to be polluting the environment.

This is because trees will often not be felled in the places where the wood is processed or the paper manufactured. Big, heavy trees must be hauled around on large, polluting transport.

Sure, recycling paper will still add a bit of pollution to the environment. Ideally, we would come up with processes that reduced this further.

However, at least with recycling, the pollution is lower. If you recycle your pay stubs, you will be doing less environmental damage.

Preparing Your Pay Stubs To Be Thrown Away

You shouldn’t just be throwing your pay stubs away. You will need to do a small amount of preparation first.

You have to remember that pay stubs will have some of your personal information on them. People will hunt through recycling and garbage cans to get this information. After all, stealing identities can lead to huge benefits, and having access to pay stubs is probably one of the simplest ways to steal somebody’s identity.

This means that before you recycle your pay stubs, you must run them through a shredder. Ideally, you would choose a shredder that can cut the pay stubs in multiple directions.

This will help to prevent people from being able to reassemble the pay stub and gain some information like that. Sure, it is rare.

Most people will probably not be going to the effort to reassemble shredded pay stubs to get some personal information. However, since you are shredding them properly, why not do that?

Shredded paper can be put into your regular recycling, so you don’t have to worry about that. You should try and get into the habit of shredding as many personal documents as possible.

What Will Stop You From Throwing Away Pay Stubs?

Now, the big question is when should you throw away your pay stubs? Well, it is suggested that you keep pay stubs for at least a year after you receive them. There are several reasons for this.

First, it will make filing your tax return a lot easier. This is because you will have solid records of how much you have earned. This information can be vital for learning whether you need to pay more tax or are potentially due a tax refund.

A lot of companies will also use pay stubs as proof of employment. For example, if you are planning to apply for a loan, then the lender will need to know that you will be paying whatever you borrow back.

This means that they need proof of your income. What better way to prove your income than with a pay stub?

You can also check the pay stubs against the amount of cash your employer gives you. This way, you can check that there are discrepancies between the two.

Of course, you could throw away your pay stubs earlier if you have some way to digitize your pay stubs. However, it may be challenging to apply for loans or prove your identity for other purposes if you do not have the originals, so try to keep the sources if a loan application is on the cards for the future.


While it is technically possible to throw away pay stubs, it is not recommended due to the personal information they contain. The best way to dispose of pay stubs is to shred and recycle them. This helps to protect your personal information and also benefits the environment by reducing the need for paper made from freshly felled trees.

Pay stubs should be kept for one year for tax and employment purposes and shredded before recycling to protect personal information. Overall, taking the extra steps to dispose of pay stubs properly is worth the effort to protect yourself and the environment.

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