Can I Compost Notebooks/Diaries/Exercise books?(From the Household waste category | No comments yet - start the conversation)
Like most paper, old notebooks, sketchbooks, diaries/journals and exercise books can be composted – though you might need to remove a few bits first.
Generally, paper is a great addition to a compost heap that is prone to becoming too wet or too heavily “greens” (ie, filled with lots of fresh veg peelings or garden waste) — paper helps soak up excess moisture and if scrunched up, can stop the heap becoming too dense and help with airflow.
If you throw it in the compost heap as a solid book, it’ll take a while for the moisture/lovely composting bacteria to reach the inner layers — it’ll rot down far quicker if you tear the pages out.
Cardboard covers will compost – but leave them out if they’re very glossy or shiny (in case that’s a coating of plastic or metallic foil).
Plastic covers or inserts, or plastic-coated cardboard/paper covers should be removed – they won’t compost. Neither will plastic or metal combs/spirals used for spines (such as the one in the picture), or other add-ons like elastic straps or ribbons (since they’re usually synthetic materials) — remove all that stuff first, just add the paper pages.
Also to avoid contamination, don’t compost sketchbooks or scrapbooks that have used a lot of glues, stickers, sellotape or oil-based paints etc.