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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

What do you do in your household?  Save it all up and bring it on a trip to town?  I'm wondering about cardboard and paper products especially.  Do you compost it? Burn it? 

post #2 of 5

It looks like your post might have been missed, so I wanted to bump it up for attention. :bump: Anyone have experiences to share? What does everyone do with their recycling?

post #3 of 5

We save up the plastic, metals, etc. for a trip into town.  I am gearing up for another try of composting the plain paper and cardboard on site, but I've gotten irritated with the tape, etc. that I'd been lazy about in the past.  A lot of it gets shredded for the worm bin.  I have no problem composting paper with questionable inks, etc., at least on a household level: healthy soil with fungi and worms and suchlike is very capable of processing undesirable stuff, enough that I don't worry about (again, on a household scale).  But paper that isn't plain degrades less readily-- the higher clay content slows it down, and laminated paper takes some special dedication and a rockin' worm bin.  So, that paper will go with the recyclables, free to drop off except the gas to haul it in.


*Federal* air quality regulations in the U. S. prohibit the burning of paper beyond enough to get a fire going.  So, unless you are on tribal property (and most tribal properties follow the regs), you should not be burning your paper.  I moved to an area in which the residents habitually burned all kinds of nasty stuff, until I got the help of our regional clean air agency.  That is where I brushed up on all the ins-and-outs of burning.  

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Out of curiosity I checked our burning rules and cardboard is fine, I live in Canada.  It said nothing that releases toxic substances so tires, paint, etc.  

We do save up metal etc but the cardboard just takes up so much space that it's not really possible or desirable to bag it all up and save it 

post #5 of 5

You can compost it, or use it as sheet mulch around the garden.  Take off all the tape and lay it flat.  Some of the US regulations are based off toxins, but some is simply to encourage people to not burn en masse.  For example, cured, untreated lumber is illegal, not because of any ill effects beyond seasoned cord wood, but because people (and worse--contractors) might use it as a way to get rid of their ends.  Even seasoned cordwood affects air quality.


So, I think if you are living away from others, and the air doesn't stagnate and create problems, you could probably justify burning some things since it appears to be legal in Canada (there still might be local laws).  But then again, cardboard and plain paper compost nicely without any smoke.

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