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I Turn My Shredded Paper Into Compost


Being a writer, I often have a considerable amount of paper that I need to shred for security reasons. This is in addition to the monthly statements for my credit cards and utility bills. All this normally ends up in the trash bin to be taken to the local dump and tossed into a huge hole. Well, I no longer contribute to filling holes at the dump, but rather use my shredded paper to create compost for my garden. In this short lecture I intend to explain to you how I go about this task. It is easy and simple.

Equipment required

Large storage container such as a trash can

Paper Shredder

Compost Tumbler

Pruning Shears

To start the process, you will initially need to collect paper. This can be any sort of paper which you can find. I found it useful to visit the local weekly community newspapers and ask for their old returned copies. They will be more than glad to provide you with their excess papers.

Next, you will need to spend some time shredding the newspapers up to use in the tumbler. Do not use shredded credit cards or any other sort of plastic. Use only paper. Once it is shredded place the finished product in the large trash can.

Now it is necessary to fill the tumbler with the shredded papers. Use 2/3 paper to 1/3 garbage from the kitchen. If you have animals such as sheep, chickens or rabbits feel free to include their poop in the tumbler as well. I would like to stress at this point that I do not recommend the use of dog, cat or human poop in any way. The risk of pathogen diseases is too high.

What you can put into your compost are any sort of organic waste. These components include leaves and grass clipping, manure, non-animal food scraps, dry dog and cat food, dryer lint, old herbs and spices and even old wine. You can do as I did here and include shredded newspaper, pine needles, and wood chips. Avoid berry brambles, large twigs, and animal products such as butter, bones, and meat. Kelp meal has been known to kick start a compost pile to speed up the process. Never use coal ash as it is high in sulfur and iron and will harm your plants. Certain colored papers contain heavy metals and could damage your garden plants. It stands to reason that you should never place diseased Plants into your compost.

Now, every day you must turn the tumbler several turns. This allows the mix inside to become aerated which is important for the compost to develop properly. If left in one position continuously the material inside could be ruined. If you diligently turn the tumbler each day, then within four weeks you will start to see changes taking place. It will take a total of six weeks to as much as six months before you have compost available.

The last thing you need to do it use your new compost in your garden. If some of it has not completely turned to compost you can use it anyway and it will finish turning in the garden. Your compost when done properly should have no smell at all. If you find that the compost appears to be too dry then add more garbage to it. On the other hand, if it is too wet you can add additional paper to the mix. Keep in mind that if you add more to the compost it will take it longer to complete its cycle.

My last remark here is that should you discover that your compost is a bit on the heavy side consider adding some gypsum mix to it. Just mix it into the compost and let it sit for a few days.

As you can see from the photo the shredded paper is in the tumbler and each day Pam will take a gallon of garbage and deposit it in also. At some point we will need to stop since each time we add more garbage or paper the cycle starts all over. I am currently working on an alternative method for composting, which I will report on at the proper time.

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My name is Joseph Parish. I am also known as "Word Writer", a freelance writer who specializes in a host of subjects from survival and emergency actions to gardening. Over the years, I have found that many people involved in the subject of survival claim an attraction towards the subject they practice. A few of them have really meant it. Fewer still have put their life into it and shown their true feelings about the subject. I attended the American Public University, specializing in Emergency Management and Terrorism. I have written one book on terrorism entitled “The Mind of a Terrorist”, and it is available on Amazon. I was brought up in southern New Jersey and attended school in the Millville area, graduating from the Millville Senor High school in 1966. By the time I graduated, I was hooked upon entering the United States Air Force. I was determined to enter the military and pursue a field of study in the area of electronics. I initially attended a course in Aircraft Radio Repair at Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. Later, I was trained as a Ground Radio Repairman. Little did I realize that this course of training would eventually lead him into the Forward Air Control Career field. I remained in the military for 21 years, at which time I visited many foreign countries as well as just about all 50 states in America. In 1987, I decided that it was time to get out of the military and retire from active duty. It was at this time that I made a quantum career leap; combining my, military electronics training with my love of Aircraft, I became employed by TRW Aerospace in Redondo Beach California. The company was involved in developing and manufacturing various space craft units and satellites for the government. I will readily admit that the company was one of the greatest places I had ever worked, and really hated to leave the company, but I decided to depart the area. I have developed many interesting and cherished friendships while learning survival techniques, particularly those that dealt with earthquakes. Unfortunately, the area was not the best place to bring up children in and upon the conclusion of my contract with TRW, I returned to the east coast. Upon my return to the New Jersey area, I began teaching school for several years. I generally taught Junior High subjects, such as science and math. After getting involved in the teaching of young minds, I was informed that a close relative in Florida was ill and required help. Without hesitation, I headed to the sunshine state to assist. While in Florida I was employed as an RF Amplifier Engineer. Eventually the crisis which had brought me to Florida was over, and I was once again heading back up north, only this time to the state of Delaware. Here I worked as a mainframe computer operator for a major chicken producer until I decided that it was time for me to permanently retire. I decided to take a slightly different route. I was attracted to the topic of survival because of my love for the military and my field of work while I was active duty. When 9-11 took place in America, there was a rise in the popularity of survival preparations which led to both government and private citizens being concerned about survival. These people and agencies had the freedom to select the various topics relating to the subject and the followers began to flock to them because of their knowledge and values. By the end of 2007, various internet websites began cropping up relating to survival. One such website was mine. Being a part-time newspaper reporter in New Jersey years ago, I would create my own form of written articles. My first exposure to "survival" came as an Air Force Forward Air Controller (ROMAD) during my 21 years in the military. I have served as a unit Safety NCO, Emergency Preparedness NCO and other related duties. Some of my safety related articles had been published in the Air Force Safety Manual. Over the years I have taken courses ranging from FEMA sponsor classes to “Aircraft aviation” courses in my efforts to become more informed on survival techniques and procedures. I am a firm believer that you must be ready for any sort of emergency and above all you simply cannot rely upon the government to help you during times of crisis. I am a follower of the philosophy that you should continue to learn as much as you possibly can and believe that when you stop learning you are simply dead. I am currently an active volunteer in the Delaware Medical Reserve Corp, participating in the Delaware Bat Monitoring Program and the Terrapin Rescue. I previously was a Red Cross volunteer working with the Emergency Management Section of the organization. My hobby is gardening and I have my own greenhouse. I love experimenting with the propagation of plants. Many of my articles center around the topic of gardening. I look forward to accepting assignments from potential clients. Feel free to contact me at (302) 404-5976.


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