jgk363
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Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

i routinely shred my (plain-paper) credit card bills and bank statements, etc., then i use it for chicken bedding, or add it straight into my "Earth Machine" composter(s).
However, i wonder if i can do this with receipts that are printed on carbonless-copy paper-- many of these have sensitive information, so i like to shred them, but. . .
is there something in that paper that would be bad for compost?
Anybody got thoughts?
Thanks!--
--jgk

imafan26
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

Paper is o.k., but ink is another story. Black and white newsprint is fine since nearly all papers are printed with soy ink, but I don't know what kind of ink is used on register receipts, toners or printer inks.
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applestar
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

Some receipt printers use thermal (chemically treated) paper too. Usualy the kind that's slick on one side.
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imafan26
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

That's right Apple. The glossy pages from the newspaper and magazines aren't used either, probably for the same reason. Are phone books o.k.? I just got new ones and have to get rid of the old ones.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

The phone books should be fine for the compost pile if you don't mind taking the time to pull it apart into small sections of pages and tear them into smaller pieces (ideally shred, but probably just quartering the would be fine). I don't feel like bothering with all that so I just put mine in recycle paper.
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toxcrusadr
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

The thermal-print ones have (or did have, fairly recently) bisphenol-A which is rather toxic. There are ongoing efforts both in the industry and regulatory side to eliminate BPA from receipts as well as other products. I have no info on how well it decomposes in the compost pile, or whether it is toxic to compost microbes (doubt this would be a problem unless you added a big load at once). For the moment I would recommend against putting thermal print receipts into the compost.
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rot
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

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Forgive me if I'm a worry wart but, I wouldn't compost the phone book or yellow pages. I just looked at mine and I'm noting that it did NOT say it was printed in the U.S. Phone books, like color inserts in the paper, can be printed ahead of time which means I have to expect they've been printed overseas without the same OSHA requirements that we have here. Newspapers like using soy inks because they don't need the old inks with metals which means they don't have haz mat issues saving them a bunch of money in materials handling and liability issues. Overseas there aren't the same regulations and therefor the same economics.

Toners used in copiers and laser printers are plastic. They're non-toxic plastic according to about the hundred or so MSDSs I looked at from Xerox but they are plastic. The terse reply I got from Xerox when I asked: 'The paper will compost but the toner will not.' I don't like plastic but I do compost shredded office paper from copiers and laser printers.

I'll have to defer to others WRT thermal printed receipts.

to sense
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toxcrusadr
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

I understand what you mean about overseas printing. Although OSHA isn't exactly what covers that, I get the point. I am not sure, however, that black ink used on phone books and newspapers actually had metals to begin with. The black color is normally obtained from finely powdered carbon. What we usually worry about is the metals used to achieve other colors. It's not that easy for the average person not in the business to get definitive info about ink ingredients, so this is all my best guess.

That said, you gotta do what feels comfortable. I would not want to pressure anyone as to what to compost and what not to. I tend to recycle all my paper since I have curbside pickup, so I don't have to deal with this issue. I use newspaper to start my woodstove, and I leave out the colored ads just in case, so I don't risk poisoning the catalytic converter and/or pollute the air with metals.
Tox

rot
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Re: Shredded Receipts ok for Compost?

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Where I work it's CalOSHA that's looking into all our safety practices and since we have quite a bit, that involves a lot of hazardous material handling and disposal. I'm not sure what OSHA status is at the federal level anymore. It seems like at the federal level they have retreated some. Maybe that's just Calley Forn Ya.

I no longer have the heavy duty chipper shredder but even when I did, most of my newspaper went to the curbside recycle bin. I'm more likely to use newspaper for weed block these days. Without the chipper shredder, it's a pain to shred and then mix the newspaper so it doesn't clump up in my composting operations.

My current composting operations doesn't support a lot of paper digesting anymore. I don't have the three big dogs contributing and I don't have the space so I'm not longer actively collecting and shredding paper in large quantities in the past. Now I have avocado leaves up the whazoo and few greens so I look for greens. It's not that hard since my composting operations are so small scale currently.

I'm not trying to scare folks from using this or that, I'm just sharing what I know and where I choose to take risks and not take risks.

What works best is what works for you. to sense
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