High-fiber composting is a system which has been developed and trialed at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales with promising results so far. It consists of adding all cardboard (including packaging, toilet roll tubes, cereal boxes), newspaper, magazines, etc. to kitchen compost. The fibrous material is high in carbon, while the kitchen waste is high in nitrogen, allowing a balanced compost to form. Such material should be distributed evenly thoroughly throughout the heap, and well stirred through (mixed) in order to increase its surface area and improve aeration in the heap. It would be ideal for adding where there is a large proportion of nitrogenous material, e.g., grass mowings, kitchen vegetable wastes, and so on, and is thus well-suited to household-scale composting.
In the past it was not considered advisable to add colored inks to compost due to the possibility of contamination by toxins, although CAT has stated that due to changes in manufacturing processes, this is no longer an issue.
Composting of paper products is a practice which is being actively promoted by waste recycling officers in many UK Local Authorities, and if widely adopted could go some way to alleviating some of the current problems associated with post-consumer waste disposal, e.g., pressures on land fill sites.
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- What is high-fibre composting?, CAT Information Service (Wales)