I’m amused by the near breathless excitement some garden bloggers have when talking about their compost.
I expect poetry and songs next. Aw, shoot. Let me go first.
When I compare thee to a summer’s day
Your fragrance is of fields of hay
And in my fingers I feel your wealth
And to my flowers…
What rhymes with wealth? Oh yeah. Health.
And to my flowers you give health.
Okay, all kidding aside, I love compost too. That love doesn’t lean toward the romantic side so much as the greedy side. I want more, MORE, MORE!
So it was with some interest in reading Joe Lamp’l’s (not a typo – his name is Lamp’l) book The Green Gardener’s Guide that I have been tossing perfectly good compost materials in the trash.
Lamp’l says I can also compost vacuum cleaner bag dust and even the bag, paper towels and rolls, coffee grounds and filters, cotton and wool rags, dryer lint, hair and fur. Hah! Finally a use for all that loose dog hair! You can also compost newspapers, although it’s best to shred them.
I know that most newspapers are now printed with soy-based ink, so they are fairly safe composting material. What I’m a bit leery of is his assertion that you can compost clean office paper. Does that mean clean as in there are no jelly donut stains on them? Or clean as in not having been printed on?
I still have to print out reams and reams of statistical output to write reports. I always use both sides of the paper. But still, I have a good amount of paper waste as a result. Is it safe to shred and compost paper that has been printed with laser or inkjet toner? Given my desire for a healthy and mostly organic garden, is it safe to introduce these into the mix?
I have tried some searching and found an interesting, if not authoritative, exchange over at Gardenweb.
What do you think? To compost or not to compost? Any experts out there?