twinbabies2000
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Composting items questions

I was wondering if you can compost pine needles? I don't have any leaves on our land, but I have lots of pine needles.
Also when it comes to manure... is there only certain animals bodily waste you use? I'm not certain I can handle dumping my cat box in compost but we do have couger, deer and other wild animals droppings in our yard. I saw someone mention hamster droppings so it got me thinking about all kinds of animals???
What about cooked fruits, veggies, potatoes... I see raw mentioned quite a bit, but cooked is ok, right?
Used paper towels?

Thank you for clarification.
Wendy

cynthia_h
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Many threads have been devoted to discussions of these items (most of them separately; I wouldn't say that manures and paper towels were discussed together...).

To find discussions of interest, use the "Search the Forum" button at the top of the page. Enter your item in the first box.

Then (and this is important, so that the results are aimed at compost and not, say, growing something you're more interested in composting) select "Compost Forum" under "which forum to search."

I just did this for the key phrase "paper towels." I got 33 results, all in the Compost Forum.

Heads up on manures, though: herbivore good, carnivore bad.

Cynthia
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Pine needles can be tricky, but my piles are under a pine tree, so I get them by default...

They contain fairly high levels of [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terpene]terpenes[/url], chemical compounds with hard to break-down natures that can slow a compost considerably, causing what some folks call "pine poisoning"; a stalled compost...

Mine is really slow and doesn't turn over nearly as fast as other folks' compost does, But the flip side is conifers are highly carboniferous, so they are a really big brown, making up for my grass and scraps intense mix. They make for a really fungal compost (woodland soils usually have 60 to 80% fungal dominated soil, but woods that are strictly evergeen needles can have nearly 100% fungally dominant soils!).

So pine needles should be a gradual addition until you find a level that works for you; if it stalls out just water with fish based fertilizers (good for fungal and bacterial sides).

Oh and some "paper" towels have nylon threads and other junk in them, so careful what you buy and put in compost...

HG
Scott Reil

rot
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Sure - throw in that Christmas Tree

..

In my experience it was the pine needles that weren't broken up that took a long time to break down.

I'm sure if you follow the ten percent rule, like most things, it shouldn't be a problem.

I just chipped up a christmas tree but along with a bunch of other stuff. My first bin with no grass clippings. I'm sure it won't be a fast bin. I got 140 F after a day but four days later it's down to 120 F. That's OK because I can keep feeding it kitchen scraps and I'll add grass clippings as I turn and cover the new kitchen scraps.

to sense

..

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applestar
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Oh and some "paper" towels have nylon threads and other junk in them, so careful what you buy and put in compost...
Do you think these guys might evolve in our compost piles? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon-eating_bacteria

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Man, I hope so! That's great!

Nature SO rocks... :mrgreen:

HG
Scott Reil

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whatever you do, keep not composting kitty litter.

google toxoplasmosis - crazy cat lady disease. it's a parasite meant to go between rats and cats. it controls the rat's mind so it falls in love with cats and gets eaten. Tristan and Meowsola. It can do similar things to people, and ruin your life. If you want to keep kitty litter out of the waste stream, just bury it in a place where you don't grow food and won't grow food.

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Good point, toil. NOT in compost; no omniverous or carniverous doody. None. :evil:

Dig a post hole like four feet deep; line with chimney liner or such. add a foot of gravel at bottom for sump, throw in animal poop. Add [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=106495]EM or bokashi[/url]. Cover hole with lid.

Voila. On-site doody-disposal :mrgreen: Unless you have ten Great Danes. Then repeat about ten times :lol:

HG
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rainbowgardener
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I've been buying Swheat Scoop kitty litter lately. Wheat based, not mined, like the clay stuff. Seems more sustainable. So every couple months when it needs to be freshened, I clean all the poo OUT of it, then dump the litter in the compost pile.

My compost pile is frozen solid right now, so I haven't had a chance to observe results since I started doing it, but anyone see any problem with this? No poo going in the compost, just urine soaked, wheat based litter.

Toil
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rainbow, that sounds like a great system, UNTIL you assume someone will make some mistake sometime. Why take a one in one thousand chance of becoming crazy cat lady/lad?

I'm not knowledgeable about exactly how fecal - oral transmission happens. Is it on the surface of the feces? inside? kicked around? Is the litter likely contaminated if the feces are?

no joke, it's thought those crazy ladies with 200 cats, unable to live in society and having no inhibitions or impulse control are suffering from a parasite in the wrong host.

I don't trust cat people in the first place. :twisted: but the mind control thing explains it all.
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Easy, toil. Three-cat owner here. Let's not go anti-feline...

I agree, though, I would not mix the litter with food grade compost; the gamble is not worth it...

HG
Scott Reil

Toil
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well, you could read "cat people" to mean a mythical race... like in avatar.

that's the ticket.
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With [url=https://www.wmob.com/images/art/JulieNewmar.jpg]Julie Neumar[/url]as their Queen? Meow... :twisted:

Nice try, toil... :roll:

HG
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2-cat owner here! :wink:

I've been using The Worlds Best Cat Litter Multi-Cat Formula which is made from ground corncobs. Just recently bought a small bag of SWheat Scoop Multi-cat Formula to try out as well. Both are "guaranteed flushable" (Heh, something else that's ending up in those batches of "Class A" Compost...) But I've always disposed of the remaining litter with the trash.

I'm thinking now, though, that once my EMA/bokashi production is in full swing, I might try trench-BOKASHI-composting the poop-scooped, urine-soiled litter in a non-edibles corner of the yard (à la Doggie Dooley).... Want to join me, Rainbowgardener? 8) :mrgreen:

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rainbowgardener
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I might try that. I definitely haven't wanted to trust my plumbing to flushing it, even though it says that.

rot
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toxoplasmosis

..

c/o the CDC
https://www.cdc.gov/toxoplasmosis/

Somewhere in the CDC literature I found a specific reference that said toxoplasmosis is killed at 160 F after ten minutes. I think I got 160 F once in a hot bin. I figure that 150 F for a day or two oughta do it though. I seem to be able to do that without much effort.

I wouldn't put it in any compost for food purposes though.

We have too many cats to afford the biodegradable litter. Until then it all goes in the trash.

Toxoplasmosis shouldn't be a concern with cats that have been indoors for a while.

I don't recall ever hearing anybody going mental in any way from toxoplasmosis. I've heard about the cat vs rat thing though.

When you start getting into anything with a lot of pathogens, you really have to manage your compost a bit. I'm not so sure I want to do that any more than I do now.

The Joe Jenkins method should work though.
https://www.jenkinspublishing.com/humanure.html#

to sense

..

cynthia_h
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There was a fairly thorough and detailed discussion re. toxoplasmosis, cat and dog waste, composting, etc. last spring at

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12263

with a "few" :wink: links for your reading pleasure.

Cynthia

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Paper Cup Holders

I was wondering if you can use the paper cup holders you get from Tim Hortons or other fast good restaurants, we have them piling up at the office and sometimes they will take them back at the restaurant and sometimes not, wondering if they can be recycled.

rot
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like egg crate things?

..

If the cup holders are like those paper mache egg crates things I would.

I've used some of that stuff to start seedlings with mixed success. I would poke a hole in the bottom and sit them in a shallow tray kept moist. Sometime I sit them on newspaper in the tray and I just concentrate on keeping the newspaper wet.

When ready, I'd plant that cell into the ground. Sometimes the root would make it through and sometimes not in time. I haven't quite figured it out yet.

So yeah. I'd compost 'em.

to sense

..

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