Composting wood based items

Tuesday, 4 February 2014  |  HOTBIN Composting

Most things from a domestic garden can be composted with a little care and time. You can speed up the process by shredding or chopping thick, woody stems, as this helps the bacteria to reach the soft digestable cellulose behind the protective bark. The length of time depends on the size of the pieces and whether the wood pulp has be de-lignified in the pulping process.

 

Wood based items Will it Decay Cold
Compost
HOTBIN compost Rate of decay in the HOTBIN Comments
Wood based waste Yes Yes Yes Very slow  
Wood treated with preservatives Yes Yes Yes Very slow You need to take care - read the back of the preservative tin/bottle. Most modern day preservatives are biodegradable and therefore compostable.
Cardboard (cereal packets, paper plates) Yes Not Advised Yes Medium Shred before adding to the HOTBIN.
Card (toilet rolls, kitchen rolls) Yes Yes Yes Medium Shred before adding to the HOTBIN.
Corrugated cardboard boxes Yes Yes Yes Fast Shred before adding to the HOTBIN.
Egg cartons Yes Yes Yes Fast Shred before adding to the HOTBIN.
Glossy magazine paper Yes Not Advised Yes Medium This can take a long time in cold composting bins. Shred when adding to the HOTBIN. Read full post as this is a poorly understood topic.
Laminated paper Yes/No No No Medium Most laminates are plastic or aluminium foil and are not compostable.
Newspaper Yes Yes Not Advised Slow Can prove problematic and take a long time - best recycled.
Paper Yes Yes Yes Medium  
Printed and colour printed Yes Not Advised Yes Medium Can take a long time in cold compost bins - shred before adding to the HOTBIN. Read full post for more information.
Sawdust Yes Yes Yes Medium Can take a long time in cold compost bins - if you add too much, then you will block the airflow.
Shavings Yes Yes Yes Slow Can take a long time in cold compost bins - if you add too much, then you will block the airflow.
White office A4 paper Yes Yes Yes Fast Shredded A4 office paper is suprisingly easy to compost.
Woody twigs and branches Yes Yes Yes Very slow Chop or shred to <4cm where possible.