A novel method for the conversion of paper towel waste to biographite anode material is developed and optimized for use in Li-ion batteries. The surge in demand for Li-ion battery anode materials coupled with the unsustainable and inefficient methods of producing battery-grade graphite necessitate alternative carbon feedstocks and graphitization technologies. Paper waste (PW) is identified as a suitable carbon feedstock for iron-catalyzed graphitization due to its sustainability, low cost, low ash content, and ample supply for the intended end use. A Box Behnken experimental design for statistical optimization is pursued for untreated and pre‑carbonized PW with factors of temperature (1100–1300 °C), hold time (1–5 h), and iron catalyst loading (0.5–1.5× fixed carbon content) with biographite crystal size as the primary response variable. Temperature and iron catalyst loading are found to be significant factors, whereas hold time is found to be insignificant. Reversible capacities of the biographite anodes are found to be 340–355 mAh g−1 with 99 % capacity retention over 100 cycles, indicating good electrochemical performance relative to commercial graphite anodes. The initial Coulombic efficiency of untreated and pre‑carbonized biographites, however, are 77 % and 75 %, respectively, suggesting parasitic reactions including electrolyte decomposition.