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Inks and dyes in paper

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Inks and dyes in paper

Post  kittykat on 4/15/2012, 10:33 am

I'm relatively new to composting. I got a barrel composter last year in the hopes of composting all my kitchen scraps. I am always challenged, though, with the "brown" part of the mix. I've bought peat moss to add to the kitchen scraps, and collect leaves when I can, and even bought a damaged brick of that coir. I keep my brown stuff in a tote out by the composter to keep it dry until I use it.

But - I've been putting thought into what I could use for brown material that is free. People use wood as fuel in my area, so I've thought of finding places where woodcutters do their work and asking for the sawdust chips. This fall, I'll definitely be raking up dry leaves and mowing them into dry mulch to keep in a tote to use. I also had the thought of using paper from my paper shredder. Nice and dry - and a steady supply of junk mail and papers with personal information, etc., that I want to shred.

My concern is the inks and dyes used, as well as the bleach used in the process of making the paper itself. Is the amounts of chemicals in the paper little enough not to make a difference? Is it safe to use? Of interest, I did read a while back that those little slips of paper you get from cashiers, bank machines, etc., use an ink that has bad, bad, bad stuff in it - a loose, powder form of that nasty stuff that leaches into your foods and beverages from plastic bottles.

Anyway - looking for thoughts on all of the above...

Thanks for being here!!

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Re: Inks and dyes in paper

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/15/2012, 11:04 am

Most, if not all, newspapers are printed with soy-based inks. The only part of a newspaper you can't compost is the shiny inserts and coupon pages.
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Re: Inks and dyes in paper

Post  kittykat on 4/15/2012, 11:06 am

Hmmm... newspapers... I had been thinking in terms of tearing them, like you do for the worm farms, but I wonder how they'd go through the shredder? That would be a nice, cheap (free!) source of brown, for sure.

Thanks Too Tall!

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Re: Inks and dyes in paper

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/15/2012, 11:12 am

@kittykat wrote:Hmmm... newspapers... I had been thinking in terms of tearing them, like you do for the worm farms, but I wonder how they'd go through the shredder? That would be a nice, cheap (free!) source of brown, for sure.

Thanks Too Tall!


You're quite welcome kittykat!
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