Can you compost shredded paper? Yes, shredded paper is compostable, though there are restrictions on the types of paper product you add to your compost pile. Paper is a dry, carbon-rich material, making it an ideal product for your brown materials stack. Discarded paper is always on hand with old newspapers, office files, envelopes, and even paper bags.
Composting shredded paper helps keep your paper recycling bin from overflowing and uses paper shreds and small scrap pieces inappropriate for recycling. Learning how to compost shredded paper gives you an easy way to balance your compost heap with a boost of carbon or generate more finished compost per pound of compostable materials by bulking it up with paper.
Whether you use a tumbler, a traditional trench or heap, or a compost bin, paper is easy to mix as dry matter. Since unwanted paper is all around us, take control of your waste management and increase the quality of compost you’re producing for your potted plants and garden by composting scrap paper.
- Great Ideas for Using Cut-Up Paper in Compost
Great Ideas for Using Cut-Up Paper in Compost
Can you compost shredded paper? Yes, and it’s incredibly straightforward. If you have an established compost bin, composting shredded paper is as easy as counting it as a part of your brown materials. For those new to composting, paper is a great place to start and adding it to other waste items makes an excellent foundation for helpful compost.
Learning how to compost shredded paper helps reduce waste. Beginners should start to compost at home by gathering paper and food waste and create a green and brown compost list of waste you have in your household. Though recycling paper is quite common, fewer people are aware of composting.
Composting paper eliminates the need to transport your paper products and helps you reuse them by processing them at home. Composting paper creates an opportunity to reuse shredded paper and tiny scraps discarded in the recycling process.
Some people confuse compost with topsoil. The difference between compost and top soil is that topsoil is the top several inches of dirt in a garden or yard. You have to “make” compost from other materials.
Are Paper Pieces Good for Compost?
So, can shredded paper be composted? You may use shredded paper for composting. Thanks to the abundance of carbon it contains, paper enriches the material in your composting bin and ups the amount of finished product it yields. Carbon helps to contrast the nitrogen in your compost to promote processing.
Carbon encourages plant growth and respiration, where sugars convert to energy for setting fruits or flowers. Paper is readily available, and whether it’s old bills, junk mail, office papers, or used paper bags, many people have an endless supply.
It’s time to stop wondering is shredded paper good for compost and add paper to your compost heap, whether you make your own compost activator, purchase, one or leave it out.
Is Paper Green or Brown Matter in Composting?
Most people think of food scraps when discussing composting, though much more is required to make a balanced finished compost. While eggshells are an excellent addition to compost, you can also use them as homemade plant food. All compost is made up of a combination of items in two categories known as green or brown materials.
Paper is included in the brown matter grouping, with yard waste, dried grass clippings, dry organic material, and dried leaves. The green group comprises high-nitrogen items like kitchen scraps and fresh grass clippings.
Brown items such as paper are dry and contain lots of carbon. Green things like food waste are considered wet or fresh and have a higher nitrogen content. Food waste is good for compost and a great way to get rid of scraps. Brown and green items are mixed in a 3:1 ratio, kept moist, and aerated to promote breakdown to start a compost system.
Microbes work on the composting mixture over time until it becomes black and earthy finished compost.
Types of Paper Waste for Your Compost Pile
When your curbside recycling bin is full, select appropriate paper products to add to your compost system instead. While most paper is compostable, a few exceptions ensure your finished compost is safe.
Any non-glossy paper without heavy ink is ideal for composting. It’s impossible to recycle shredded paper since the smaller pieces are incompatible with the recycling process, so keep the scraps from your paper shredder in a clear plastic bag to add to your compost pile.
Products to Avoid When Composting Paper
Knowing if your paper product is appropriate for composting is essential to the continued function of your compost pile. Some products are unsuitable for compost due to toxic substances like heavy metals or their inability to break down.
Though ink has improved over the years, it’s impossible to know which page contains harmful colored ink. If in doubt, send your page to the recycling bin rather than risk composting something containing potentially hazardous chemicals.
Avoiding anything glossy or with lots of inks helps keep your compost pile functioning and toxin-free. Meat, animal products like dairy, and household hazardous waste are also inappropriate for composting.
Guide to Composting Cut Paper
As the paper is part of the brown or dry group, ensure your paper product is appropriate for composting and feels dry to the touch. Shred, cut, or tear your page into smaller pieces to facilitate its decomposition.
If you’re starting a new composting system, add your paper to the brown materials and mix with green in a 3:1 ratio. When using paper in your existing compost heap, dig down a few layers, spread your scraps evenly, and re-cover.
Composting Techniques for Recycling Cut Paper
One of the most challenging decisions when you’re ready to start composting paper is how to compost. Space tends to be a deciding factor and the location and amount of room available for your composting dictates which options may work for you.
A compost heap requires a large amount of outdoor space for a mound of compost, and while bins come in many sizes, they are generally larger outdoor structures. A worm bin for composting is ideal for small spaces and works well indoors, and a compost tumbler is slightly larger and suitable for use on a patio or balcony.
The Benefits of Paper Compost
Finished compost is nutrient-dense organic fertilizer, perfect for feeding indoor potted plants or as a natural fertilizer for vegetables in the garden. In addition to being excellent for composting, use the shredded paper as mulch to help your soil with water retention.
Paper is full of carbon, a vital part of any functioning compost system. Paper’s natural properties mean it absorbs water from decaying organic matter in your compost, allowing everything to break down faster.
Once in the soil, paper compost supports moisture retention for your plant’s root system. Using paper in your compost pile results in more finished compost as it bulks up the mixture, leading to more valuable fertilizer for you to use.
Stop wondering can you put shredded paper in compost and reduce your paper waste using your compost pile. Shredded paper compost is an inexpensive method for feeding your indoor plants or your garden.
If you already have a compost bin, adding paper is a fantastic way to increase your output of finished compost, give your mixture some added carbon, or stop your paper recycling basket from overflowing.
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