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Now that I'm not working I'm hoping to find time to make compost more effectively (as well as doing a lot of other garden-y things!) as previously I've just ended up with mostly grass clippings which have just formed a slimy mess. I've been saving cardboard etc. to provide extra browns for the compost heap once the mowing season starts but can I also put in other kinds of paper - such as junk mail. If so, should I shred it first?
A lot of junk mail is made from shiny paper and that does not compost down very well. I have never shredded paper before - try it and see if it decomposes.
I haven't got that much cardboard! Just some boxes from Christmas and a fair amount of the brown paper which a lot of places seem to use as packing these days. I'll try putting a bit of shredded paper into the compost and see what happens...
Brown paper and torn up cardboard goes on our compost heap - it's very good to layer with all the green vegetable stuff.
I put all my shredded paper on the compost heap, it disappears quite quickly. I save it up until I've got a large carrier bag full and spread it in a layer over the top of the heap. Just don't do it on a windy day!
You'd think not doing it on a windy day would be obvious - but I discovered this the hard way. It takes quite a while to chase scattered shredded paper around the garden, and it wasn't even all that windy!
Shredded paper can be used in small quantities in compost, but cardboard is better. I do add shredded paper and greens into a trench pit and backfill.
I have a cross cut paper shredder which I use to shred bank statements etc. when I have a carrier bag full it goes in the compost bin and disappears very quickly. I don't save loo roll centres for seeds they just get roughly torn and chucked in, same with egg cartons. I've never had any problems, I think variety is the spice for compost bins. I've just emptied my old one today, any lumps/bits etc get bunged back in until next time. What I have learnt is to shred or chop died back stems which are brown, some take an age to rot if left....Jean
Cardboard is also the most valuable item when sent for recycling, so I prefer to do that, unless it's very dirty. Boxes etc get re-used for various purposes until they are falling to bits. Good stuff!
Make sure you remove the windows from envelopes or they drive you mad when you use the compost as you have to remove the strips as they don't rot.
Buy yourself a robust paper shredder. The cheap ones from supermarkets last very little time if you use them a lot. I don't shred shiny paper - that goes for recycling. Sheets or large pieces of cardboard - without the sticky tape - can go straight in the heap, no need to shred it.
Also don't put avocado stones or peach stones in the compost heap; they never rot down.
Thanks for the tip about the windows - I hadn't thought of that. I'm always amazed that my compost always seems to contain at least one crisp or chocolate wrapper which I definitely didn't put in! I found out about the avocado stones from experience as well.
I don't put any potato or tomato waste in my compost, they will spring up all over your garden next year.
I have 3 dalek bins on the go. One being filled, a full one 'working' and one ready for use. A mix of everything is the secret. Fruit and veg peelings, shredded paper & cardboard, hair ( from hubbies haircuts), contents of hoover/carpet sweeper as well as the lawn cuttings/plant bits. I don't stir it up much as it's difficult as I'm not very tall. But if you ensure that there's layers of brown and green stuff, this shouldn't be a problem. Lots of advice on websites for 'New composters'.
Only a little bit of paper, but if you have nice clean cardboard that is best