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Composting Paper

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Composting Paper

Post  dk54321 on 3/16/2015, 7:35 am

I first tried newspaper as mulch after making a lasagna bed. (The Lasagna Garden) I found it blew away too easily. I tried wetting it down, but in a few hours it dried out, and then blew away. I tried running it through my paper shredder and found that the long, narrow strips formed a tangled mat that stayed in place, particularly when it was placed around plants because the stems wove through the strips. 

I began shredding all my used paper and using it for mulch or adding it to the compost pile. All went well until I moved. I don't know if the wind patterns are different here, but the shredded paper doesn't all stay in the bin. I find strips scattered about the yard, even on the other side of the house and, worse, in the neighbors' yard.

I want to be a good neighbor, but I hate to give up on an abundant mulch and compost material and send it to the landfill. It also makes good worm bedding. I've used it for vermicomposting indoors, but my success rate is about 50%. Half the time my worms thrive, and the other half, I do everything the same, and they all die. Since I have family members with allergies, I don't like to keep a potential source of mold in the house. I'm looking for better ways to contain paper while it's composting. What has worked for you?

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Re: Composting Paper

Post  plantoid on 3/16/2015, 8:56 am

Covering the heap with a sheet of thick black  polythene or old carpet /tarp etc that gets weighted down around the edges not only helps the rotting /composting & heat retention it also keeps the bits of paper  under control 
 
When adding fresh torn up into " your  ear sized " bits paper by the bucket full give it a fine hose spray to damp it down & help the composting action get started &  don't add lots of layers.

Like you I did the shredding thing ....ribbons were a dismal failure . Cross shredding works well so long as I only gave them to the heap at a couple of handfuls at a time & then added fresh veg matter or straw etc. , otherwise ...like you I find they turned into papier mache.
One particular time I had a lot of very old tax records to dispose off and ended up with seven trash bags full of them done up in cross cut form .

 I put these through my chimaera one evening whilst also putting a couple of glasses of wine through me , then add the ashes  to the compost bins over the next few days .

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Re: Composting Paper

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/16/2015, 11:49 am

I used shredded office paper a lot!  The first time I used paper it blew all over the  neighborhood. Shocked  Yikes!  Now I add it to my compost pile as if they were leaves, wet it, then cover with more green matter.  I also have it as mulch around a bunch of shrubs growing in mostly sand. I'm trying to condition the soil a bit using just paper as an experiment.  It's stays there as it's up against the house on a side that is protected from the wind. 

CC

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Re: Composting Paper

Post  katjohn83 on 3/16/2015, 1:41 pm

What kind of paper do you add to your compost? I have read somewhere... I think...not to add smooth magazine type paper and if adding newspaper to make sure they use a certain type of ink. But I have often wondered about envelopes with their glues (but we lick it so it can't be all that bad) and bills with different inks.

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Re: Composting Paper

Post  Kelejan on 3/16/2015, 1:50 pm

@plantoid wrote:- - -
One particular time I had a lot of very old tax records to dispose off and ended up with seven trash bags full of them done up in cross cut form .

 I put these through my chimaera one evening whilst also putting a couple of glasses of wine through me , then add the ashes  to the compost bins over the next few days .
 I like that bit Very Happy

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Re: Composting Paper

Post  camprn on 3/16/2015, 1:56 pm

@Kelejan wrote:
@plantoid wrote:- - -
One particular time I had a lot of very old tax records to dispose off and ended up with seven trash bags full of them done up in cross cut form .

 I put these through my chimaera one evening whilst also putting a couple of glasses of wine through me , then add the ashes  to the compost bins over the next few days .
 I like that bit Very Happy
+1 bottoms up

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