HoneyBerry
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wax paper

I know that paper can be composted, so what about wax paper? I'm thinking NO to wax paper. I'm wondering what the experts say.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: wax paper

wax is natural and it will compost eventually. But the point of the wax is to repel water. Without water things don't break down. So until the wax breaks down, the paper won't. So it will be very slow to break down in your compost pile. But it won't hurt anything and it will break down eventually.
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HoneyBerry
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Re: wax paper

Thanks.
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Susan W
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Re: wax paper

I am no expert on what the wax coating is on waxed paper, but could be a petroleum product. I don't put my clean up stuff from beeswax candles in the compost either. I guess it would break down sometime! Now if it is winter and I'm using the fireplace, use the clean-up paper towels as firestart.
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HoneyBerry
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Re: wax paper

I'm pretty sure that the wax part of wax paper is a petroleum product. I have decided to compost wax paper. I don't use very much of it. I was trying to figure out an easy way to compost my coffee grounds and fruit peelings, etc, that I collect while at work. I don't like putting compostables in with regular garbage, which is the only choice I have at work. So what I do is I wrap the compostables in wax paper and then throw it on the compost pile when I get home. It simplfies the transport from work to home, making it easier and less messy.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: wax paper

Probably works - let us know if you find waxed paper in with your finished compost in the spring!

The other alternative would be just some kind of tupperware or other container that you carry back and forth.

I used to just keep a 2 gallon bucket with tight lid under my kitchen sink to collect compostables until they went out to the pile. In my new house, there isn't room for that. So we have a tupperware that sits by the sink to collect them until they go to the bucket in the garage. The tupperware gets emptied into the bucket and (washed out) twice a day. The bucket gets emptied into the compost pile once or twice a week.

Either way, it is wonderful that you take the trouble to bring your compostables home. Lots of people would just throw them in trash.
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HoneyBerry
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Re: wax paper

You are right. Most people don't bother. Many people don't think like us gardening types do.
I think the wax paper will break down quickly in the compost pile. I noticed that it doesn't hold together for very long when it's wet.
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toxcrusadr
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Re: wax paper

The wax used in wax paper is food grade paraffin wax, which is just a certain class of hydrocarbons that are nontoxic. Similar to what is used to wax fruits and vegetables. The fact that it is petroleum based isn't really important, because chemically, it's not a health hazard to people or to compost. The wax itself will not really break down very fast but since it is spread thin on the paper, it's not like putting a hunk of wax into the compost. I haven't tried it, I'm just speaking as an env. chemist and composter.

BTW any scrap candle wax at our house is saved up in a coffee can and melted down to make new candles. Some people offer it on Freecycle or Craigslist free section if they don't make candles themselves.

Both my wife and I have compost operations going at work. We use a gallon ice cream bucket with a handle and snap lid, next to the coffee stations. They're labeled "Used Coffee Grounds and Filters for Composting". The bucket goes home with you whenever you want, and replace it with a clean empty spare. Works quite well.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: wax paper

Yes, I brought used coffee grounds (and filters) home with me from work for several years before I retired, for my compost pile. Very easy and you can get a LOT of coffee grounds that way! :)
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