Can I Compost Cat Litter

cat litterCompostable: Well, sort of…

Category: Brown

There are many different kinds of cat litter, so it really depends what type of kitty litter you have got and want to compost.

For clay-based cat litters or sand-based cat litters, I would say don’t try to compost them.  The same goes for various crystalline types of cat litters.  They are not natural products made from living materials.  They are manufactured, often synthetics which will not break down like normal compostable material.  They could potentially leech chemicals into your compost which could actually be detrimental to the composting process or harmful to the plants you would ultimately feed with your compost. Continue reading »

Can I compost my Christmas Tree

Compostable: Sort of…

Category: Brown

This is not a straightforward yes/no answer.  If you put a Christmas tree on a large compost heap, then over time, yes of course it will decompose, like everything else that was once alive.  However it will most likely take a very long time to break down, considering that the base of the trunk alone could be six inches wide.  Do you really want to wait several years for your compost?

So, assuming you were planning to use your compost this year, then putting a whole Christmas tree straight into the compost is perhaps not the way to go.  So what other options are available?

Well you could strip the branches off and maybe just use these in the compost, although even then it will take a very long time to break down.

Or you could use a wood chipper or mechanical shredder to shred / chip the tree.  You could definitely use these chips in your compost.  They still might take up to a year to decompose though.  Some people might have concerns about the straw pine needles making your compost too acidic, but this is unlikely unless you have very little else in your compost.

Alternatively, these wood chips could be used straightaway in the garden as an excellent mulch.

Hopefully this has given you a few ideas about what to do with your Christmas tree once the festive season has passed.

Can I compost Egg Boxes

Compostable: Yes!

Category: Brown

Cardboard egg boxes are a great addition to your composter.  Don’t add plastic ones of course!

Due to their unusual shape, egg boxes are also very good at making sure there is some air in the compost heap, which helps ensure your decomposition takes place aerobically, allowing your organic material to break down as quickly as possible.

The cardboard of the egg carton itself can be a little slow to break down, so it is a good idea to tear the egg boxes up into smaller chunks and soak them in water for an hour to get things going a bit quicker.

Can I compost Cut Flowers

Compostable: Yes

Category: Green / Brown

If you have cut flowers in your house, they will be a fine addition to your composter.

Depending on how woody the stalks of the flowers are, you might want to cut the stalks into smaller lengths.  The woodier the stalks, eg roses, the more ‘brown’ you might consider them.  Also, the smaller the pieces, the quicker they will decompose to create your compost.