Composty questions

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fruitcake
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 248976Post fruitcake
Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:52 pm

mattbrown wrote:one way to cope wwith large quantities of grass clippings is mulch between the potato rows as they part rot by the time the potatoes are ready to be harvested and they get dug in at the same time.
grass clipping are good between rows of carrots too - helps form a layer to keep the fly out :cheers:

Defo loads of cardboard in your compost - it's all good - and the brown stuff won't go as soggy as the white.

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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290606Post Weedo
Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:27 am

an old thread but I have a question regarding composting (or other) those waxed cardboard boxes fruit and veg come in. Has anyone been successful in returning these to the soil? Perhaps a trip through a shredder first? An acquaintance keeps a couple of pet pigs (I have a philosophical dislike (read as "rabid hate") of keeping pleasure animals by the way) and gets boxes of vegetable waste from a local grocer to feed them. However the waxed boxes pile up and they subsequently head into the landfill, along with the polystyrene ones.
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290607Post Green Aura
Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:43 am

I'd have four questions - is it definitely wax and not some sort of plastic or similar, what wax is used, would it affect the ability to compost effectively (as I presume it's there to preserve the cardboard in some way) and would putting it through a shredder eventually gum up the works?

Having made sure it definitely is wax I would have thought it would have to be food grade if it's coming into contact with raw veg so that's probably OK. As for waxing the shredder I guess putting it through with plenty of other stuff rather than just a load of cardboard would seriously retard any potential problems - I suppose it might even do it good :lol: The same goes for the compost - make sure it's mixed with plenty of other stuff.

I think I'd be tempted to trial it away from any established compost pile.
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290609Post Flo
Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:43 pm

Waxed boxes don't compost in my experience. Tried and failed. Maybe I'm just not that advanced at composting. Oh and shiny tape of all sorts fails as well (the brown stuff that seals boxes and sellotape).

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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290610Post Weedo
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:18 pm

I think that parrafin waxes are the most commonly used for fruit boxes here - certainly not plastic coated. From what I can find it seems there is no way to effectively degrade these waxes. Oh well, it was a thought
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290611Post diggernotdreamer
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:28 pm

I bought my organic feed in paper sacks and originally, they were in waxed paper sacks, so all good. A couple of years ago, I started noticing that where I had opened sacks out and put them on the garden and covered with mulch, I was being left with this really wafer thin layer of plastic, so once again I have been thwarted in my efforts to get rid of plastic. Those milk cartons I was using for flower pots, the shiny box broke down and I was left with a tiny sleeve of plastic. I have successfully composted all sorts of card, shiny magazines etc, but have never encountered paraffin waxed boxes, but if I did, they would go into the stove and be burnt with lots of other stuff that I use to get the fire alight or rekindle

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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290612Post Flo
Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:01 pm

All you ever wanted to know about composting - it's a bit of reading but it's the best guide I've met and I have a well composted allotment to prove it.

But the best bit of it all is the bit on Compostable / biodegradable / degradable materials & what to do with them

Not that this deals with waxed boxes - obviously these must not have the right logo on them for composting. Hope that helps.

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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290614Post Weedo
Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:27 pm

Thanks Flo - the site looks very useful (with adjustments for my hot, dry climate) So far I have never seen a composting logo on anything in Oz - if lucky you may find a "recyclable" logo.

In my trawling I found this report covering the relative environmental impacts of a range of carrier bags - interesting reading, if only the exec summary. I am not making any statement oner way or the other, others must draw their own conclusions

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... le-in-2006
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290617Post Odsox
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:22 pm

Thanks for that link Flo, I now realise where I've been going wrong with my trials of using up my grass mowings.
I've been using shredded paper (out of our shredding machine) instead of screwed up pieces. Because of that it has been airless and killing the aerobic bacteria.
Coincidentally I have a large quantity of corrugated cardboard to dispose of, so maybe I'll have better luck this year using that.
Tony

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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290618Post Flo
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:28 pm

Just take off all the cellotape and brown tape before you use it Tony - that's a right pain to take out of a compost heap (been there, done that, got the tee-shirt and learned rude words sorting it out)

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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290632Post Odsox
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:35 pm

What is a right pain is the plastic you find in seaweed, especially fishing line.
The larger plastic pieces are not so bad to remove before you spread the seaweed on the beds, but the fishing line is orange and impossible to spot amongst the bronze seaweed.
I haven't collected any seaweed for a couple of years, but every time I dig the beds I end up finding yards of the stuff.
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290634Post Flo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:48 pm

Awfully good for cutting fingers I suspect the fishing line ...............

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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 290636Post Weedo
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:00 pm

These are only the plastics you can see - the micro and nano plastic pollution is exploding worldwide and is in our food chain.
Link to a brief article from Wageningen Universtity

https://www.wur.nl/en/Dossiers/file/Mic ... astics.htm
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 291273Post RenewableCandy
Wed May 16, 2018 8:21 pm

I think they say male pee because everyone assumes women take more medicines, and not all of them get fully metabolised.

Tea slops do roughly the same as well.

We have a compost 'dalek' and it's worked for years sans holes.
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Re: Composty questions

Post: # 291998Post PurpleMcGowan
Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:09 pm

Hi, I have 2 compost bins, one failed, one seems to be ok but I'm not too sure.
Bin number one consisted of a spare brown bin (that the council never collected) being converted with holes and some carpet tiles on top, it was working will until the woodlice and wasps quickly made a home of it.
Bin 2 is one of the black plastic ones and seems to be doing ok, I've had it about a year and haven't had an compost out of it, but do still manage to get bits in.
My concern is that its sat in a patio (private landlord and a raised patio due to a steep hill, so my hands are tied there) and I do keep putting worms in, but it seems to be composting slowly.
Is there anything I can do to make both my heaps more efficient?
It would be greatly apricated, thanks
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