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What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

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What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  NHGardener on 3/5/2011, 11:53 am

The thought of using newspaper for sheet composting is not appealing because of the ink.

Yet even the cardboard boxing has ink on it. Not as much as newspaper tho.

What are the thoughts about how ink affects soil quality when it's used as sheet mulching?

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  camprn on 3/5/2011, 1:01 pm

Nearly all the ink used for newsprint is soy based. I use newspapers in the yard & garden a lot. I do not use the glossy ads. Cardboard that is not coated is perfectly usable in the yard & garden & compost.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  NHGardener on 3/5/2011, 1:34 pm

Thank you camprn! I was always under the impression that newspaper ink contained something toxic. That makes me feel better.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  quiltbea on 3/5/2011, 4:17 pm

I also make sure the newspaper has aged at least 2 weeks before I use it.
Its what I was taught some years back and I can't break the habit.
Better safe than sorry is my creed.

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Cardboard Dilemma

Post  Lillyz on 3/21/2013, 7:11 pm

@camprn wrote:Nearly all the ink used for newsprint is soy based. I use newspapers in the yard & garden a lot. I do not use the glossy ads. Cardboard that is not coated is perfectly usable in the yard & garden & compost.

I have alot of cardboard. I also have a lot of dry stuff for the compost bin right now. Should I save the cardboard to use under the mulch? or should I cut it up and throw it in the compost bin? Also I have paper that Ive shredded. Should I put that in the compost bin now?


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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  jazzycat on 3/21/2013, 9:38 pm

I have a lot of cardboard laying around that I was going to use when I thought I would be moving last year. I've heard of using it in the garden, so I was going to put underneath my beds that I'm building and then put weed fabric over that. (Is that even necessary?) I also have a ton of shredded paper (from shredding bills and junk mail, etc). Can that be used for something? Maybe I should get a worm bin... Can you use cardboard as mulch?

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/21/2013, 9:44 pm

You can use cardboard as weed barrier. I would not suggest using it for mulch.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/21/2013, 10:33 pm

I recently read an article in our local paper regarding newspaper and cardboard in gardens and compost piles.
News papers now use a water based ink.. I use it as a mulch and also in my compost piles.
I do not use the colored printing at all, glossy and inserts.

Today I found I am able to shred my cardboard in our paper shredder, it does a fine job, will add it to compost pile....I don't hog the shredder when doing cardboard, I try to keep the pieces about 1/3rd the length of the cutters.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  plantoid on 3/22/2013, 11:48 am

@jazzycat wrote:I have a lot of cardboard laying around that I was going to use when I thought I would be moving last year. I've heard of using it in the garden, so I was going to put underneath my beds that I'm building and then put weed fabric over that. (Is that even necessary?) I also have a ton of shredded paper (from shredding bills and junk mail, etc). Can that be used for something? Maybe I should get a worm bin... Can you use cardboard as mulch?

I have no use for carboard in or as path way so all mine gets dampened , left in a pile for a while then torn into 3 inch lumps and put in the compost heap a bit at a time so there is never a big wadge of it in any one place .. it works well, the muck worms use it like a hotel laying in the corrugations .
The shredded paper we make is the 3/4 inc x 1/4 inch cross cut size . This too has to be sprinkled lightly over the top of the compost and mixed in . Do it thickly and you'll discover clumps of soggy paper mache when you start turning the heap just like I did.

I also use the shredded paper to light our chiminera . There is plenty of heat in it to get 3 inch lumps of some dried out torn cardboard going , then I just add a few chopped sticks , once there is a bed of burning sticks I put the logs on.

I use the resultant wood ashes as an acid lowering dressing on our mother earth based gardens as they are all thick sticky blue coal mine clay full of acidic sulphur with added acidic straw based manures in them .

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  llama momma on 3/22/2013, 11:58 am

@jimmy cee wrote:I recently read an article in our local paper regarding newspaper and cardboard in gardens and compost piles.
News papers now use a water based ink.. I use it as a mulch and also in my compost piles.
I do not use the colored printing at all, glossy and inserts.

Today I found I am able to shred my cardboard in our paper shredder, it does a fine job, will add it to compost pile....I don't hog the shredder when doing cardboard, I try to keep the pieces about 1/3rd the length of the cutters.
You can save your shredder blades by wetting the cardboard in a bucket, wheel barrow, sink, etc., wet it for just a few minutes and it tears very easily. I wet it to use as soft bedding for worms or use it dry to help soak up excess moisture in the worm bins. Also toss pieces into the compost heap wet or dry as needed.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  Pollinator on 3/22/2013, 7:58 pm

@NHGardener wrote:The thought of using newspaper for sheet composting is not appealing because of the ink.

Yet even the cardboard boxing has ink on it. Not as much as newspaper tho.

What are the thoughts about how ink affects soil quality when it's used as sheet mulching?

Black and white is OK - as others have noted. It's based on soybean oil and lampblack. But don't use colored inks, which likely have heavy metals in them. This is toxic.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  jazzycat on 3/22/2013, 8:02 pm

YAY! So now I can just toss that shredded paper in. I was worried about the ink. But I have a couple of large trash bags full of shredded paper in one of the closets.

So what about cardboard that has color on it, like boxes from the liquor store? Are those OK to use?

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  plantoid on 3/22/2013, 8:02 pm

I thought the use of heavy metal inks was a legislated thing of the past some five years ago in most countries of the world .

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  plantoid on 3/22/2013, 8:07 pm

@jazzycat wrote:YAY! So now I can just toss that shredded paper in. I was worried about the ink. But I have a couple of large trash bags full of shredded paper in one of the closets.

So what about cardboard that has color on it, like boxes from the liquor store? Are those OK to use?

My thoughts are yes now adays it's OK to use . The use of plastics and heavy metals in print on boxwes has drastically reduced especially in the eco conscious recycling USA , CANADA & EUROPE .

Why not email the company and ask them about their packaging and tell them why you're asking .. most big companies have reams and reams of compliance legislation & rules that they are happy to say they comply with .

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/22/2013, 10:25 pm

A call to your local newspaper office asking what type of ink they use should confirm this.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  camprn on 3/23/2013, 7:32 am

To reiterate my previous post, most B & W news print uses soy based inks these days. I will sometimes throw it into the compost pile or use it as a weed barrier material in pathways. Same with corrugated cardboard, which typically uses a starch adhesive. I do take any plastic tape off before using it outside.
I always steer clear of any glossy inks. Those go to recycling.

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/23/2013, 7:56 am

@camprn wrote:To reiterate my previous post, most B & W news print uses soy based inks these days. I will sometimes throw it into the compost pile or use it as a weed barrier material in pathways. Same with corrugated cardboard, which typically uses a starch adhesive. I do take any plastic tape off before using it outside.
I always steer clear of any glossy inks. Those go to recycling.

+1

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Re: What about ink on newspaper and cardboard for mulch?

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