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Compost Bins and CardBoard/Paper ?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by ricky101, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    Hi,

    We have been given some 300ltr plastic compost bins, squarish shaped.

    Not sure about how much and what type of Cardboard or Paper should be added to the mix which is mainly green rather than brown.

    Seems corrugated cardboard and newspaper is good to use, but office/printer shredded paper, glossy magazines and printed single thickness cardboard packets may not be as good according to some websites ...?

    Interested to hear what paper types other member find ok to use on the heap ?
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener Staff Member

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    Lots of cardboard, especially amazon parcel packing. If we do go shopping I'll pick up a cardboard box to carry groceries home rather than use a plastic bag, the box goes on the heap. All our old printed single thickness cardboard like cereal boxes, we have a new one on the go each day to collect used teabags, vegetable preparation peelings & fruit waste like banana skins etc - these boxes get slung onto the heap.

    No glossy mags they don't compost down.
     
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    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      + screwed up balls of newspaper as it sets in solid lumps if added in wads.

      There always seems to be more worms in compost with added corrugated cardboard. Flat pack carboard boxes from friends moving house are another source. I use stuff like that for lining the back of the car first, then compost it when it gets messy.
       
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      • ricky101

        ricky101 Total Gardener

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        Better to put the cardboard through the shredder or just tear into smallish pieces ?
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener Staff Member

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          I don't bother ripping cardboard up, once it rains it goes soggy and quickly breaks down. You need to take the lid off those Dalek type bins every now and then so it's not too dry inside, let the rains get in. Make sure you pull off any packing tape or staples. Packing tape comes off easily once the cardboard get wet, so I leave some boxes on the side until I can pull it off.

          We also put in toilet and kitchen roll inners, if I'm not saving them up for starting parsnip seed in the spring.
           
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          • Clare G

            Clare G Super Gardener

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            I tear it into pieces the size of the palm of my hand, as I don't have a shredder. Works fine, and I agree about it encouraging the worms - my bin is brimming with them! I stick to brown cardboard from deliveries and the supermarket, flattening it to keep in a pile on some outdoor shelving near the bin, and then tear it up and use it as needed, adding a layer at a time to the bin. If it gets a bit damp that makes it all the easier easier to tear up!
             
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            • Dave W

              Dave W Total Gardener

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              Just about all of our kitchen waste, except meat, goes into out two worm composting Dalek bins and gets pretty rapidly consumed by the Brandling/Tiger worms. Bigger bits of packing cardboard get consigned to our main garden compost heap - I just rip it up and add it from time to time as it helps reduce the acidity of the green stuff. I also add a few worms from the Daleks now and then and they munch away quite happily. I've been told that the worms like the fish glue that's used in corrugated card.
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                Similar, but slightly different, as any cardboard box that is still usable as a box (and its packing material) is saved and then when there is sufficient is picked up someone from a charity shop (when they are passing) and used again for packaging.

                Other cardboard and paper goes on the compost heaps. Cardboard is only torn into single layers of any size but our compost heaps are approx. 5' x 7' so have plenty of room. Office/printed paper is shredded first as we have so much of it and then spread through the compost (only added when lawn mowings are going on as they can clog together too much). I sometimes add ash from the bonfire when adding paper. We have never noticed ill effects from the paper but we have a lot of compost to spread it through as we have five of them.
                 
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