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Re: using shredded office paper in compost

  • Subject: Re: [cg] using shredded office paper in compost
  • From: "Mike McGrath" <MikeMcG@PTD.net>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 14:06:35 -0400

Cary--as you know, I greatly respect your composting knowledge, but I could not disagree more with you on this one. These papers ARE bleached with chlorine and do, as a result, contain dioxins that may well survive the process (providing the worms survive it, of course).  All they can possibly contribute to the process is problems--certainly no nutrients.  And much-safer newspapers are so abundant, I have to ask--why use something less good and potentially harmful?
    Here's how I answered the whole "white paper in compost or as mulch" question for gardens Alive recently:
                                    Best fishes,   Mike McG
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 2:05 PM
Subject: RE: [cg] using shredded office paper in compost

I have used shredded office paper in lots of bins.  The only trouble comes at the very beginning, becasue those sharp edges hurt!  The best thing to do is to wet the paper several days before adding the worms, to give it a chance to soften up.  The glossy paper is fine to include in small amounts.  The glossiness comes from clay, and the colored inks are much less toxic than the used to be. 
-----Original Message-----
From: Rhonda Teitel-Payne [mailto:rhonda@thestop.org]
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 11:08 AM
To: ACGA listserve
Subject: [cg] using shredded office paper in compost

Hi Judy!
My worm composting friends told me not to include glossy colour paper in worm boxes because they contain toxins the little guys can't break down.  They can handle just about anything else. But that's worm composting.  I'd be worried about bleach and dioxin from white paper. 
Maybe someone else knows if there are other safe ways to break down bleached and dyed paper?
Rhonda Teitel-Payne
Urban Agriculture Coordinator
The Stop Community Food Centre
Phone: 416-652-7867x22  Fax: 416-652-2294
P.O. Box 69, Stn. E., Toronto, ON. M6H 4E1
Check-out our web site: http://www.thestop.org

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