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Yes - layer it or mix it in with other components for a very fluffy compost. I bring home bags of shreddings from work on a weekly basis - love the stuff. I use it as a base (like newspaper) and pile other things on top; it breaks down quite fast. I also layer it over the compost pile - keeps the insects away.
Apparently some type of bird is using it in building nests - I have found shreddings in the branches of a few trees.
Nancy - It breaks down faster if you have manure to mix/layer with. Any kind will do. Another thing to add to hurry it up: Alfalfa pellets (mixed with water in a wheelbarrow, they expand, making it easier to add to your mix of whatever - I add directly to the soil with the shreddings.).
Also, many folks have told me that the temperature has nothing to do with how fast compostables will compost. However, there has been a notable difference in time for me.
While living in Hawaii, it went very fast.
Now living outside Seattle (a.k.a. "ColdWet") it's so s l o w...
Hope this helps!
I have given thought to adding shredded paper to the garden, but was concerned about the chemicals in the ink being taken up by the vegetables. The office where I work has a boat-load of scrap paper taken out by the cleaning crew every day!
you could make an effort to trace back the brand of ink used and ask the company whether it's biodegradable, safe etc.. Tell 'em what you intend to use it for if you can find out who it is. These days most are trying to use more 'earth-friendly' ingredients. It's good PR.--Melis
Shredded newspaper is fine if soy based ink is used. Studies have been done on this and it's a mainstay of worm bins. You do need to keep it mixed in well with all the other input. It can have a clumping effect. And, it needs to be torn into strips. Most newsprint tears easily from top to bottom not side to side.
I have been collected shredded computer paper from a business and I find it does not decompose very well... I used it as mulch with coffee grounds...and it formed a bricklike layer on the top of the soil and ... nothing is coming up. I have used it in compost mixtures...but it doesn't seem to break down very well... Is there something else I can spray/pour on it? I hate the idea of NOT using it...my desire to recycle and reuse...but...what can I do?