Can you compost paper towels: overview

Can you compost paper towels? The best overview Composting Guide

Composting is a great technique to cut waste and produce soil that is rich in nutrients for your plants. While many people are familiar with composting yard trash, and paper towels, you might be curious if paper towels can also be composted. Under the correct circumstances, paper towels, a ubiquitous home item, can be composted.

paper towels 2
Image source:

Paper towel types, contaminant levels, and composting conditions are a few things to think about while composting paper towels, though.

In this article, we are gonna talk about the advantages of composting paper towels, things to keep in mind when composting them, whether can you compost paper towels, and how to compost paper towels properly are all covered in this article.

paper towels 1 1
Image source:

Advantages of composing paper towels

Composting paper towels has several benefits, including:

Reducing waste

Composting dirty paper towels aids in waste reduction by keeping them out of landfills, where they could take up precious space and increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Creating nutrient soil

Composting dirty paper towels results in the creation of nutrient-rich soil, which may then be used to fertilize gardens and plants.

paper towels 3
Image source:

Saving money

Composting paper towels can help eliminate the need for fertilizers that must be purchased from stores, which can be pricey.

Supporting sustainable practices, by converting waste into a useful resource, composting clean paper towels is a sustainable practice that promotes a circular economy.

paper towels 4
Image source:

Reducing environmental impact

Paper towels that are disposed of in landfills can take years to degrade and can emit methane, a strong greenhouse gas, which is why composting white paper towels can assist.

Composting unused paper towels can assist enhance soil health by enhancing soil structure, boosting the soil’s ability to store water, and encouraging the development of helpful bacteria.

paper towels 5 1
Image source:

Toilet paper towel composting is an easy and efficient solution to decrease waste of the paper towels, promote sustainable practices, and enhance soil health.

We can lessen our influence on the environment and produce a useful resource that may be utilized to promote wholesome plant growth by composting white paper towels.

paper towels 6
Image source:

What do we need to compose paper towels

A few essential components and supplies are required for making paper towels compostable easily. What you will need to compost paper towels is as follows:

  1. To keep the bleached paper towels while they degrade, you will need a compost bin or pile. Compost bins come in a wide variety of designs, including both commercial and DIY solutions.
  2. Brown materials: Compost Bleached paper towels are a carbon-rich (brown) item that gives the compost bin structure and aids in absorbing extra moisture. Leaves, straws, and cardboard are other brown materials that can be added to the compost pile.
  3. Green resources: They are necessary to balance out the brown elements in the compost bin. Examples of these materials are grass clippings and coffee grounds.
  4. Water: To assist the organic materials decompose, composting needs moisture; therefore, you’ll need to add water to the pile as needed. Try to achieve a moisture level that is comparable to compost-bleached paper towels.
  5. Oxygen: Because oxygen is necessary for the decomposition process to compose paper towels, it’s crucial to regularly mix and aerate the compost bin with a pitchfork or shovel.
  6. Shredder: You could want to buy a shredder to cut the paper towels into tiny pieces to reduce clumping and hasten the decomposition process.
  7. Time and patience: Since the breakdown process might take many weeks to several months, compost paper towels require both of these qualities. However, with the right care and upkeep, you can produce nutrient-rich soil for your garden while also minimizing trash.
paper towels 10
Image source:

Compost paper towels call for some basic supplies and a willingness to try out various composting methods. You may turn your used paper towels into a useful resource for your garden and the environment by adhering to the best guidelines for composting.

paper towels 7 1


Why can’t paper towels be composted?

Unbleached paper towels are often created from cellulose materials like wood pulp and other biodegradable fibers that can be composted. But there are a few factors why paper towels might not be compostable:

Contamination: unbleached paper towels are frequently used for wiping surfaces or cleaning up spills, which can cause them to get polluted with compounds, oils, or other compounds that might not be compostable.
Most paper towels biodegradable: used paper towels or disposable paper towels may take longer to break down than other recyclable materials like yard trash. This is so because they are frequently made of shorter strands, which degrade more gradually.
Lack of nutrients: most paper towels are low in nutrients; thus, they might not make a big difference in the compost’s overall quality. To create a nutrient-rich soil amendment, composting calls for an equal amount of carbon-rich (brown) materials, such as wet paper towels, and nitrogen-rich (green) items.
Compost paper towels or recycled paper should be free of pollutants and shredded into tiny pieces if you decide to compost bounty paper towels to hasten the breakdown process. The occasional dirty toilet paper towel or paper towel waste should, however, normally be thrown away in the garbage rather than composted.

What paper cannot be composted?

The answer to “Can you compost paper towels” is yes. While the majority of paper goods are compostable and biodegradable, some varieties of paper shouldn’t be since they include harmful substances like synthetic compounds or other impurities. Some forms of paper should not be composted, including the following:

– The glossy or coated paper should not be composted because the coating may contain hazardous chemicals that harm soil microbes. Examples of the coated paper towel include periodicals, catalogs, and flyers.

The paper towel that has been tinted or dyed with synthetic dyes may contain hazardous chemicals that can damage plants and seep into the soil.

Thermal paper towels because thermal paper towels contain high quantities of bisphenol-A (BPA), which can be detrimental to plants and soil microbes, they should not be composted. Thermal paper towels are used for receipts and other sorts of printing.

Paper that has been shredded should not be added to compost because it might clump together tightly, preventing airflow and slowing the composting process, even though it is biodegradable.

The paper towel treated with adhesives or tapes should not be composted because the adhesives may contain hazardous compounds that harm soil microbes.

– Paper towel goods and the occasional dirty paper towel that has been contaminated with chemicals, oils, or other substances shouldn’t be composted since they can harm soil bacteria and plants.

In general, the answer to “Can you compost paper towels” is yes. It’s better to limit your paper towel composting to plain, uncoated products and toss out any paper towel that might contain synthetic materials, hazardous chemicals, or other impurities in a compost bin.

How fast do paper towels compost?

The paper towel rolls type, size, thickness, composting conditions, and the presence of other organic materials are just a few of the variables that might affect how quickly to recycle paper towels or how quickly paper towels decompose.

Paper towels decompose quickly, but paper towels which are generally thought of as carbon-rich (brown) materials, disintegrate more slowly than nitrogen-rich (green) materials like yard trash.

The answer to whether can you compost paper towels is yes. Paper towels can degrade in as little as two to four weeks when composting conditions are optimum, which include a balance of carbon-rich and nitrogen-rich materials, enough moisture, oxygen, and a temperature range of 110-160 °F (43-71 °C).

However, paper towels may take longer to decompose, anywhere from a few weeks to several months, if the compost pile is not properly balanced or maintained.
To protect soil microorganisms and speed up the composting process, it is crucial to highlight that it is not advised to compost paper towels that have been polluted with chemicals, oils, or other substances.

Furthermore, it is often advised against composting paper towels in home composting systems because municipal composting facilities would be better suited to manage bigger quantities of paper towels.

How do you compost paper napkins?

Paper napkins can be composted to decrease waste and produce soil that is rich in nutrients for your plant. Follow these steps:

Collect old paper napkins from your house or place of business, being careful to clean them of any impurities.

Paper napkins should be shredded into smaller pieces to enable the composting process to go more quickly and avoid clumping.

Shredded paper napkins should be added to your compost pile together with other nitrogen-rich (green) items like food waste, grass clippings, or coffee grounds to ensure that the pile is balanced. Aim for a ratio of 3 parts brown material (such as paper napkins) to 1 part green material as a general guideline.

Mix and aerate, use a shovel or pitchfork to mix the compost pile and spread the paper plates evenly. This will hasten the composting process by supplying the pile with oxygen.

To maintain moisture, add water as needed to the compost pile to keep it moist but not soggy. Aim for dampness that is comparable to that of a damp sponge.
Check the compost pile frequently to make sure it is breaking down properly and isn’t getting too damp or dry. You might need to change the ratio of brown and green materials in the pile or add extra water if it’s not decomposing properly.

Use the manure, once the compost has completely broken down, you may use it as a nutrient-rich soil amendment to fertilize your garden or container plants.
Paper towels and paper towel products can take longer to compost than other items like, food waste, and yard debris, and they may need several weeks to several months to completely break down. Diapers that have been polluted with chemicals, oils, or other things should also not be composted.

paper towels 8
Image source:


Paper towels are a typical household item that, under the correct circumstances, can be composted. Despite being biodegradable, paper towels are a carbon-rich (brown) material that breaks down more slowly than nitrogen-rich (green) items like yard trash, human or animal waste and food scraps, vegetable scraps.

Paper towels should be free of pollutants and shredded into smaller pieces before composting to hasten the breakdown process.

paper towels 9
Image source:

Paper towels that have been contaminated with chemicals, oils, or other things are also generally advised against composting since they can harm soil microbes and slow down the composting process. Moreover, paper towels can be composted to benefit the environment, decrease waste, and produce soil that is rich in nutrients for gardening.

Rate author
Best compost guide
Add a comment