A Paper Shredder for your Compost Pile


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My mother-in-law wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas this past year and right away I told her that I wanted a paper shredder. I wore mine out and it had given up its ghost earlier that year. I use it to shred up all of those horrible junk mail items that I get in the mail on a daily basis. As long as it is a black and white copy I shred it and it goes into my compost pile. I shred envelopes (after taking out the plastic faces) and the extra paper that always comes with bills on a weekly basis and my compost sure does thank me for it. A shredder is one of my best tools for my garden. Do you shred your unwanted junk mail for your compost?
 
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zigs

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Most of mine ends up in the woodburner, but I do use crumpled cardboard in layers in the compost.
 
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I do shred all my junk mail but because I live in an apartment I don't have a compost.That is a splendid idea, though:)
 
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Like Zigs I put torn up cardboard into my compost, and newspaper when I have it. I didn't realize other paper was safe to compost though.
 
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A paper shredder is also handy for making packing material. Instead of buying packing peanuts, you can shred junk mail and scrap paper to make packing material for shipping boxes. If you have colorful scraps of gift wrap ,you can shred them to make "grass" for Easter baskets or gift baskets.
 
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To be honest, I had no idea that paper is safe to compost. Doesn't it contain chemicals? Chlorine for example?
Usually, when I have too much paper, I burn it in a furnace.
 
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To be honest, I had no idea that paper is safe to compost. Doesn't it contain chemicals? Chlorine for example?
Usually, when I have too much paper, I burn it in a furnace.

I have been doing this for years. I have also used it as bedding for chickens in the past too. I only use the black and white junk mail and never anything that has the glossy pages. I got the idea from one of the homesteading boards I belong to years ago and I have been doing it ever since. The worms don't seem to mind one bit.
 
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Shredded paper is one of the ingredients for starting an indoor worm bin. I don't put my junk mail in my compost but I do use the empty tp roll tubes and plain white paper towels I have used to dry my hands or a dish or washed piece of fruit. I go through a lot of paper towels in the kitchen so it is a good way to recycle them.

Of course you wouldn't compost a paper towel that had been used for cleaning or wiping out an oily dish or pan since you don't want to put any type of fats in the compost. Thicker cardboard I reuse for other things. I rarely have newspaper on hand anymore so I don't put that in it either.
 
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Shredded paper is one of the ingredients for starting an indoor worm bin. I don't put my junk mail in my compost but I do use the empty tp roll tubes and plain white paper towels I have used to dry my hands or a dish or washed piece of fruit. I go through a lot of paper towels in the kitchen so it is a good way to recycle them.

Of course you wouldn't compost a paper towel that had been used for cleaning or wiping out an oily dish or pan since you don't want to put any type of fats in the compost. Thicker cardboard I reuse for other things. I rarely have newspaper on hand anymore so I don't put that in it either.
We take the empty tp and paper towel rolls and use them to make seed starters. They are great because we just fill them up with our dirt and put the seeds in and then when the plant is big enough to transplant we put the entire thing in the ground or pot. I do normally tear the roll if it is not already torn before I plant it.

Another note for the rolls is that you can take your dryer lint and pack into the holders and use them as camp fire starters too. The lint makes them really flammable. When we go camping we take a bunch of them or we use them in our fire pit too.
 

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I like to use the tp roll in the fireplace to start the fire. I have used layers of newspaper in the flower bed before I lay down the bedding bark to help keep the weeds away.
 
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I like to use the tp roll in the fireplace to start the fire. I have used layers of newspaper in the flower bed before I lay down the bedding bark to help keep the weeds away.

Yes the newspapers in the garden is great for a weed barrier. You can also use cardboard in this manner as well. I have used it and wet it really well when I first put it down. After it is wet I layered rich compost from my pile and then dirt over the top of it.
 
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We take the empty tp and paper towel rolls and use them to make seed starters.

I do that as well; I merely fold down one end and then fill the tube with soil. I like the convenience of being able to plant the cardboard tube along with the new plant. I have my mom and two other people saving them for me so I usually have more than I need. I also use pieces of the tubes to cover holes in the bottom of flower pots sometimes before adding soil.

I like to use the tp roll in the fireplace to start the fire. I have used layers of newspaper in the flower bed before I lay down the bedding bark to help keep the weeds away.
I neither have a fireplace or go camping, but I like the idea. If I ever get one of those outdoor chimneys or a cement fire pit for the back yard, I will definitely be making those to use along with pine cones and other nifty items. I have thought of making the fireplace ones as gifts, but I don't really know anyone who has one.
 
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I have a shredder and I shred my junk or important papers all of the time. However, if there is an odd time like shredding my credit card or something with plastics, I can't throw it into the compost. I don't usually throw it into compost, as most of the things I shred have coloured ink and are plastic. I'm pretty sure that both of those factors will make my compost really bad. I just throw it into the garbage once it fills up, but composting it isn't a bad idea. It will just take a lot more work separating my plastic from paper before I shred it, but I guess it is another step to making the world a better place.
 
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To be honest, I had no idea that paper is safe to compost. Doesn't it contain chemicals? Chlorine for example?
Usually, when I have too much paper, I burn it in a furnace.


Ok I found a few links about the safety of composting junk mail.
http://unjunkmail.com/2009/08/what-do-with-junk-mail-give-it-back-to-the-earth/

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/country-living-forums/gardening-plant-propagation/42336-composting-shredded-paper.html

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/04/26/frugality-in-practice-turn-your-junk-mail-into-garden-mulch/

Most inks are soy based these days and they are even saying that the glossy sheets are clay based ( I will still pass on using them in my compost). I hope this eases your mind.

I have a shredder and I shred my junk or important papers all of the time. However, if there is an odd time like shredding my credit card or something with plastics, I can't throw it into the compost. I don't usually throw it into compost, as most of the things I shred have coloured ink and are plastic. I'm pretty sure that both of those factors will make my compost really bad. I just throw it into the garbage once it fills up, but composting it isn't a bad idea. It will just take a lot more work separating my plastic from paper before I shred it, but I guess it is another step to making the world a better place.


Yes it will take a bit of work to start with but once you get the hang of process it will be much easier. I never put anything plastic through my shredder unless it is empty.
 
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Ok I found a few links about the safety of composting junk mail.
http://unjunkmail.com/2009/08/what-do-with-junk-mail-give-it-back-to-the-earth/

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/country-living-forums/gardening-plant-propagation/42336-composting-shredded-paper.html

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/04/26/frugality-in-practice-turn-your-junk-mail-into-garden-mulch/

Most inks are soy based these days and they are even saying that the glossy sheets are clay based ( I will still pass on using them in my compost). I hope this eases your mind.
Thank you for the links!:) I find the articles very interesting. I think that I'll try composing paper then. I write all the time and I always have tons of paper so it will be nice to do something with it.
 
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Thank you for the links!:) I find the articles very interesting. I think that I'll try composing paper then. I write all the time and I always have tons of paper so it will be nice to do something with it.
Glad to help you out with this. I have been using my junk mail, newspapers and cardboard in my compost for years with no adverse effects. Good luck with yours!
 

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If you want to buy one, best to get one which can do cross cuttings or even better a micro cut shredder.




Personally, I have never seen one with micro-cut. Read somewhere that Lidl was selling one cross cut at £26..
 
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*Added later: Responding to post directly above this one that was deleted by moderator. It was full of "review" links.

One thing you need to be careful about when you visit these review sites as in the post above, is they sound very official, but if all their links go to Amazon, most likely the author is an Amazon affiliate. If you wind up clicking that link and buying through that link, the author makes a commission from Amazon. Once you click that link...even once...a "cookie" is set on your computer. Unless you delete your cookies, you can go back to that link days, sometimes weeks or months later...depending on the duration of that cookie set by Amazon...and if you buy the item, the author still makes the commission. So, beware of such review sites. Most of the time they are nothing but "veiled" sales sites to make someone money. and not true review sites. Buyer beware!
 
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