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Can I Compost Notebooks/Diaries/Exercise books?

(From the Household waste category | No comments yet - start the conversation)

notebookLike 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.

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