Pencils Put in Garbage Too Small to Recycle Mechanical pencils are too small to be recycled because they would get lost in the sorting process. They are also made from a mixture of metals and plastics, sometimes mixed plastics, making the materials impossible to separate. Ways to Reduce Choose Recycled Pencils Cut down on the number of trees that are used to make wooden pencils with a recycled pencil. TreeSmart, for example, makes their pencils out of recycled newspaper. Ticonderoga makes a pencil from recycled wood scraps.