General Question

Mtl_zack's avatar

Can you dispose of paper in a compost heap?

Asked by Mtl_zack (6735 points ) May 25th, 2009

Is paper 100% natural, or are there some ingredients that wouldn’t decompose that well in a compost heap? Does it depend on the brand of paper?

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7 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

There’s chemicals used in paper manufacturing; bleaches and dyes and so forth, that can leech into the compost, I’d imagine. I wouldn’t put paper in the compost, no.

dynamicduo's avatar

Yes, paper is considered to be acceptable in a compost pile, but it is a carbon source, not a veggie source. With all carbon things in composts, you need to be very careful to not put in too much. Furthermore, I would probably only supplement with paper, I would not make the majority of my compost base paper (or any one material).

I would not consider the bleach or chemicals to pose problems. Newspaper has always been used for composts back as far as I can think, and that has much more chemicals (ink at least) than printer paper does. Then again, the inks are likely different. Regardless, I personally would feel fine having any type of ink in my compost pile.

This does seem to be a debate amongst composters, here’s one debate covering both sides, but overall I am firmly of the opinion that paper in compost piles is beneficial and desirable.

sakura's avatar

we put shredded paper in our compost s @dynamicduo says it is a carbon source, it als helps to create an air pocket in the compost helping the decomposition process.
Brown paper is better than white!

TROLL's avatar

@dynamicduo LOLOLLL The first part of your answer(Yes.)was spoken in the tone of Batman answering a question from Robin.

Just have a mentally visual immagination that puts amusing slants on things.

Darwin's avatar

Shred it first and don’t put in too much at a time. Stick to non-glossy paper.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would only put undyed/unbleached paper with no printing on it, such as brown paper bags. I would never use newspapers, but I see that others here have.

emilyrose's avatar

everyone here said it so well, nice job!

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