Using cardboard in my compost pile

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Ever since I read @Colin's thread the other day about wood chips, I have been spending a lot of time trying to find a cost efficient, labor-saving way to shed down the voluminous amount of corrugated cardboard our home business creates.

So far I have read about ripping it, soaking it, layering it, cutting it with a table saw or band saw, using a lawn mower to chop it up, saw YouTube vids of weird looking homemade shredders that look like they might take your fingers off, more vids of home owners tenuously shredding it with their yard chippers, using a heavy duty office paper shredders just to have them burn out, and commercial or industrial cardboard shredders that would almost require a 2nd mortgage. None of these really seem practical.

Do any of you use corrugated cardboard in your compost pile the HAS been shredded down into small pieces, and how do you shred it? Or, any ideas I haven't mentioned above? Remember, I am talking a decent volume of cardboard. Thanks.
 
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Thanks @alp. I want to avoid soaking then ripping by hand. I'm looking for a way to "automate" the process of make the large boxes into tinier pieces so it will break down much faster.
 

alp

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I had a look on yutube. Those machines look POWERFUL and costly .. You must be doing a roaring trade, hehe!
 

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Add liquid detergent suggested here

How to Compost Cardboard Boxes It is critical that all cardboard to be composted is broken into small pieces. Large pieces will not decompose as quickly. Also, soaking the cardboard in water with a bit of liquid detergent will help to speed up the decomposition process. Begin your compost pile with a 4-inch layer of shredded corrugated cardboard with other high-carbon materials such as straw, old hay or dead leaves. Add a 4-inch layer of nitrogen rich materials on top of the cardboard such as fresh grass clippings, horse or cow manure, spoiled vegetables or fruit peels. Add a 2-inch layer of soil on top of this layer. Continue to layer in this fashion until the pile is approximately 4 cubic feet. It is imperative that the compost pile be kept about as moist as a sponge. Add more water or cardboard depending on how wet it feels. The cardboard will soak up any excess water. Turn the compost pile every five days with a pitchfork to speed up decomposition. In six to eight months, the compost will be ready to use in the garden. As you can see, learning how to compost cardboard is easy. In addition to being a great soil conditioner for plants in the garden, you’ll find that using cardboard in compost will help keep unwanted trash from piling up.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Composting Cardboard: Information On Types Of Cardboard To Compost Safely https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-cardboard.htm
 
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Thanks, @alp. I read this article before. As I said, I am not really interested in soaking the cardboard and then manually shredding it. I am looking to automate the process.
 
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This morning I purchased a Royal 1620MX - Cross Cut Shredder (16 sheet) after watching a YouTube vid about it...actually the vid was on an earlier model, but this is it's replacement. It is commercial grade and all gears are steel instead of plastic. It was $99.99. I'll post back on how it does.

Here's the YouTube Vid
 
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Well, my new shredder arrived this morning, so I decided to unbox it and give it a go. It shreds my corrugated boxes with no problem at all! ...just like the video above. I already have filled big plastic bag. Yeah...now I will have plenty of small cardboard pieces for my vermicomposter and a whole lot more for my outside composter.
 

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:eek: $99.99 !! :eek:

Please update this thread in the future, and let us know if you continue to like it. (y)

I'm rather curious about the life expectancy of it... :unsure: :cautious:
 
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Sure will @MaryMary. I wound up shredding a garbage bag of cardboard today, and it didn't jam or overheat at all, but I am not going to push it. The steel gears and cutting blades are guaranteed for 5 years, but that is only if you are shedding no more than 16 sheets of paper at a time, cd's, etc...but it is sold as "commercial grade", so even if it lasts a couple of years, I'll get a ton of good carbon for my compost.

https://shop.royalsupplies.com/temp...ers > 1620MX - Cross Cut Shredder (16 sheet)
 

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Well done! A good find. Make sure you keep the receipt and take a photo of it just in case everything fades. At least, it's not one of those big industrial steel units I saw clanking on youtube!.
 
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this thread is old but i'm also interested in this process, i have seen " adding a little bit of detergent during soaking will help the process" in a few places with always the exact same wording but i can't find any explanation! does anyone know why and or how much is a little bit? this is extremely vague and for me detergent is a thing i usually don't allow near my compost. I also have huge volumes of cardboard that i want to compost from our restaurant, we also produce a beautiful amount of coffee grinds which i am beginning to grow edible mushrooms on. I am considering using either a worm farm system or hot compost utilizing coffee grinds to accelerate the cardboard. Like the original poster i am dealing with large volumes and would like to automate the process. To be honest the idea of shredding the cardboard seems absurd as this would take so much more energy then any energy saved and i have a fairly large property so allowing a more patient process with minimal energy input would be more efficient. However i don't want to have mountains of cardboard and if it can be faster that's definitely better. I am considering the idea of a small swimming pool as a soak tub and basically soaking it until its mush (i think this may take a while) then shoveling into wheelbarrows and pouring into a compost in layers with coffee etc. Alternatively i am a fan of aerating compost by getting above it and slamming down into it with a big heavy steel crow bar, this may sound intensive but it takes ten minutes and is relatively easy vs turning the compost which is at least a 1 hr mission and can be quite taxing. In this scenario i would just layer wet card board as whole sheets and after the initial few days of staying damp i would stab alot with the metal bar, that would break it up quite a bit. I will try both of these methods.
 
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I don't have an abundance of cardboard but the little I do have gets the mower treatment. Just toss the boxes on the lawn and they get shredded and mixed with grass all in one.

I have a DR brush mower and I do bigger branches with that first, then the lawn mower. I sometimes have to pull the really big stuff out and toss it into the tree line.
 

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