Composting Paper Towels / Kitchen Roll

8 November 2017  |  HOTBIN Composting

Composting Paper Towels / Kitchen Roll in the HOTBIN?

Dealing with moisture in the HOTBIN is paramount to stop the bin's contents from becoming too wet and turning anaerobic. Whilst kitchen roll is very absorbent, the question is: can you compost kitchen roll and paper towels in the HOTBIN?

Kitchen Roll and Paper Towels, What are They Made From?

Paper towels and kitchen roll are paper based products designed to absorb moisture and are also commonly made up of cellulose fibres which are relatively easy for the thermophilic bacteria in the HOTBIN to breakdown.

So in the absence of shredded paper and cardboard they do in theory sound like the perfect solution for controlling excess moisture levels in the HOTBIN.

Can You Compost Kitchen Roll in the HOTBIN?

The problem with kitchen roll and paper towels is that they have the potential to restrict airflow in the HOTBIN. Why? Shredded paper means small bits of water absorbing materials are dispersed throughout waste and start the decomposition process relatively quickly. Paper towels however have a much larger surface area allowing a lot of moisture to be absorbed although this may also produce a waterlogged ball which will restrict airflow within the HOTBIN which can result in anaerobic contents.

Unfortunately this means you can’t compost kitchen roll / paper towels in the HOTBIN, we would not recommend adding them in, especially in large quantities or as a substitute for shredded paper. You can however add the kitchen roll core, just make sure you rip it up into smaller pieces first.

How can Paper Towels / Kitchen Paper be Disposed Of?

So if not composting kitchen roll, cardboard cores and paper towels, what are the options for disposing of these items?

Most household council recycling schemes advise that used kitchen roll sheets should be placed in the general rubbish but we would advise checking with your local refuse collection authority as this can differ depending on your location. The cardboard cores however can be placed in most cardboard recycling collection schemes.

Many paper towels are also manufactured from recycled paper and because they have already been through the recycling process the fibres used to make the paper become unusable.