Can You Put Newspaper in Compost? Exploring the Benefits and Tips

Can You Put Newspaper in Compost? A Comprehensive Guide

Composting is an eco-friendly practice that allows you to turn kitchen and garden waste into nutrient-rich soil. It’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while nourishing your plants and improving the health of your garden. However, when it comes to composting, many people wonder if newspaper can be added to the mix.

The Basics of Composting

Before we dive into whether or not newspaper can be composted, let’s quickly review the basics of composting. Composting involves the decomposition of organic materials like fruit and vegetable scraps, yard trimmings, coffee grounds, eggshells, and more. These materials are broken down by bacteria, fungi, worms, insects, and other microorganisms present in the environment.

In order for successful composting to occur efficiently at home:

  • You need a good mixture of “green” (nitrogen-rich) and “brown” (carbon-rich) materials.
  • Adequate air circulation is crucial for allowing microbes to thrive.
  • The pile should have proper moisture levels which resemble a damp sponge – not too wet or dry.
  • Frequent turning or mixing ensures even decomposition throughout the pile.

Newspaper: Is it Compostable?

Newspapers are commonly used household items that often end up in recycling bins or trash cans after being read. If you’re wondering whether newspapers can find a place in your compost bin instead – good news! Yes!

Newspaper is considered safe for composting due to its high cellulose content found in paper fibers derived from tree pulp. Moreover,
newspapers don’t contain harmful chemicals such as chlorine bleach or dyes. However, certain considerations should be kept in mind.

How to Compost Newspaper Effectively

To successfully compost newspaper, follow these simple steps:

  1. Tear the newspaper into smaller pieces: By breaking it down into smaller bits, you increase its surface area and facilitate quicker decomposition.
  2. Mix with other organic materials: Combine shredded newspaper with kitchen scraps like vegetable peels and coffee grounds for a well-balanced compost pile.
  3. Avoid glossy or colored sections: While regular newsprint is safe for composting, glossy paper or pages printed with colored ink may contain toxins that can harm your plants or disrupt the microbial balance in your compost heap. Discard such sections instead.
  4. Aerate and monitor moisture levels: Regularly turn your compost pile to promote air circulation and ensure proper decomposition. Additionally, keep an eye on moisture levels by adding water if it feels too dry or mixing in dry leaves if it’s too wet.

The Benefits of Composting Newspaper

Incorporating newspaper into your compost pile offers several benefits:

  • Adds carbon-rich material: The brown color of newspapers signifies their high carbon content needed to balance nitrogen-rich “green” components in your compost mix.
  • Promotes aeration and drainage: Shredded newspaper helps create air pockets within the pile, enhancing oxygen flow crucial for microorganisms’ survival while preventing excessive water accumulation.

Say Yes! To Composting Newspapers Responsibly!

In conclusion – absolutely! You can compost newspaper responsibly. By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can divert waste from landfills and contribute to creating nutrient-rich soil for your plants. Composting not only benefits your garden but also the environment as a whole.

So, next time you’re done reading the daily news, consider giving your newspapers a new life by adding them to your compost pile. Happy composting!