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Can I compost all types of paper and card?

In general people have a predominance of GREENS in the garden, e.g. grass cuttings and plant material. But composting GREENS on their own will make a slimy, smelly mush. Paper and card are classed as BROWNS, and play an important role in creating air spaces within your compost heap.

We recommend that you don’t compost newspapers if you already use paper-recycling facilities. They are best recycled, and there is so much other paper and card that can be composted that isn’t suitable for recycling. When you start composting paper and card you will be amazed by how much your rubbish is reduced. Whether it’s junk mail, cereal packets, toothpaste packaging, biscuit cartons, solid tissues, old envelopes, confidential documents or toilet roll tubes, it can all be composted. Don’t tear into little flat pieces, instead screw up the paper and card. This traps air pockets and provides structure within your heap.

The addition of clay makes paper shiny and this breaks down harmlessly during the composting process. Tests show that inks and glues also break down harmlessly. Avoid cardboard containers, used to hold liquid, as these are often lined with plastic and or foil.

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