No announcement yet.

Bulking Agent and shredded paper

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bulking Agent and shredded paper

    I have been a proud hot composter now since early May. I have been very lucky to have achieved a steady 50- 60 degrees C from day 1! With only one hiccup when the temp dropped to 30c and started to smell horrible. This was quickly rectified though after adding more bulking agent and shredded paper to the mix.

    Since then I have been very generous with the amount of paper and bulking agent I am using. I would say that I'm now adding a 50% bulking agent/paper to 50% waste and this is quite expensive. especially if paying £14.99 for a 75 litre bag from the hotbin website.

    So what are people using as alternatives? I seem to be having good results with decorative bark that I buy from Aldi for £1.99. The chippings are quite large in size and I do expect them to be present in my usable compost but I plan to pick them out a re use them when adding new waste.

    Unfortunately I do not get enough shredable junk mail in my post to satisfy my hotbins needs so I purchase budget printing paper from asda for £2.50 which lasts a month.

    I'm reluctant to pay for running costs on my compost bin so if anybody can suggest cheaper of free alternatives to buying bark and paper that would be awesome .)

  • #2
    We add shredded corrugated cardboard with the shredded paper which seems to work quite well


    • #3
      Go to a local shop. You will find they have lots of cardboard and paper waste which they have to pay the local council to collect. Expensive!!! They will be grateful to you for taking it. Caleb


      • #4
        I find my compost comes out very sticky and does not easily dry out enough to sieve, so I either put it on the garden as a mulch or grow potatoes in large pots in it. By the time the potatoes have grown and been harvested the stickiness has gone, and I then sieve the compost for re-use with other veg (with added blood, fish and bone fertilizer) and put the chunky bits in the bulking agent bag. The amount of bulking agent I use depends a lot on what else I am putting in - if there is a lot of chopped woody prunings for example, I will leave the bulking agent out. I do chop everything quite finely, which helps with surface area. I don't know if this is "right" but it seems to work for me. I do use quite a lot of paper and corrugated card.


        • #5
          Can cardboard be used instead of woodchip as bulking agent?
          Seems to me that shredded/torn Cardboard might serve as bulking agent. It is able to provide air pockets. Is this correct?


          • #6
            We have a similar issue where we don't have a lot of paper to fill the hotbin, so we have a sludgy mess! We have lots of corrugated card but tearing it up doesn't seem to do the trick. Does anyone have a cardboard shredder they can recommend? or know of a service that will shred cardboard?


            • #7
              I have a cheap shredder which can manage cardboard. Cereal boxes and thinner boxes from packaging.


              • #8
                I got fed up tearing up cardboard so I got a Bonsai microcut shredder on Amazon for about EU80, brilliant job. I've always used chipped /shredded branches as bulking agent. After chipping (with a Macallister mis2500) I let the chips really dry out in a sheltered sunny area. I've also started to be more generous with cardboard and bulking agent, a bit of hay from the pet store too (run over it with ur lawnmower to shred it completely), prior to this I just got smelly sludge and that was following the Hotbin website to a tee.