Can I put store receipts in my compost pile?

I have a lot of shredded store receipts and I am wondering if they can be thrown into my compost bin. Should I be concerned about the ink, or the type of paper used for receipts?
Thanks, Baxter
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Yes.
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Some of my receipts have the texture of fax paper. And I was told that fax papers should not be put into the pile. Is that true?
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On 3 May 2004 14:53:42 -0700, buster snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (Baxter) wrote:

You can use the store receipts in the compost. It should be soy ink. I prefer to hang onto my receipts for at least a month. I add coffee grounds and filter to the compost. You can add shredded B&W newspaper too.
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(Baxter) wrote:

I think most of the stores around here use or have switched to thermally printed receipts (pizza hovel, beast buy, office min, c-mart, home despot to name a few). The plus side is the company doesn't need to wanker around with ink ribbons or cartridges. The down side is your receipt turns to crud after a while.
In this product literature about NCR brand Thermal fax paper http://www.ncr.com/products/supplies/sup_rop_thermal_fax_paper_product.htm
it says: All fax paper is treated to minimize curling.
but it doesn't say treated with what, or if the same kind of paper that is used for thermal faxes is used for store receipts.
I stick my shredded receipts in the paper recycling, but if I didn't have that, I still probably wouldn't compost it. Coffee filters, and newspaper with black ink, I'm okay with in small quantities.
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Wow that is a detailed reply. Thanks for the link to the NCR spec. It really looks like lots of my receipts are of the fax paper type. The reason I want to compost the receipts is that I don't want to put them in the curb-side recycle bin. I've heard stories about people stealing them even though they are shredded. Identitiy theft is something I want to avoid. So I think composting them is a good idea. Looks like I need to rethink my strategy.
Thank you!
(Baxter) wrote:

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buster snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (Baxter) wrote in

no problem, although if you thought that was detailed, wait till you read something from paghat. I usually keep my receipts for at least a year for tax and warranty purposes. I've noticed that sometimes the thermals start developing some sort of crystals on the surface, so I was curious myself, but I didn't have the werewithal to look further and find out what exactly the stuff is.
As for identity theft, I usually shred some extra stuff and mix it up real good. I don't think store credit card receipts are a big liability, though. The ones I've gotten recently have only name and last 4 digits of the card.
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I know what you mean. The ink on thermal paper will fade in the sun. Home depot has a 1 year warranty on plants with a receipt. It's funny that after 1 year, the receipt fades into a blank sheet! :)

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Pen wrote:

There's no ink involved with thermal paper. The writing on the paper is caused by heat. That's why it's called thermal.
If you keep the receipts out of direct light, in a cool, reasonably dry place, they should last many years. Store them on the dashboard of a car in a humid climate, and they won't last a week. If they're lasting less than a year, you're probably storing them closer to the later than the former.
As for the original question about putting them in the compost bin, I wouldn't. I wouldn't put wax paper, gift wrap, or any other product that is just paper-based, and not really paper.
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Why not just burn them?
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David Hill
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Wouldn't want to inhale the exhaust. I've also heard you shouldn't burn gift wrapping paper.
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".......... Wouldn't want to inhale the exhaust. I've also heard you shouldn't burn gift wrapping paper. ..........."
Then you don't stand down wind of the fire. I should think you breath in more noxious fumes every day from cars than you will from burning store receipts and gift wrapping paper.
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I read a Car Talk column (Ray and Tom Magliozzi) about diesel engines recently. It said that Europeans weren't quite as concerned with air pollution as Americans. I usually don't pay attention to generalizations, but due to your comment, I wonder if it is true.
Anyway, gasoline is formulated for combustion. Store receipts and gift wrapping paper aren't. Now if you were talking about American diesel vehicles (which very few people drive, pretty much burn sludge and apparently don't have the pollution controls of modern European diesel cars), I'd agree with your pollution accessment. But I seriously doubt a gallon of diesel has near as much heavy metal as a newspaper sized sheet of gift wrapping paper. I don't know whether gasoline or diesel is a closer analog of 'petrol' or if 'petrol' is different enough to be neither. (Assuming petrol is what you call engine fuel ... I'm not so good with the Queen's English).
As for standing around trying to avoid the combustion cloud and stay upwind (if there is wind) yourself, letting the toxins precipitate wherever they end up, you could always just not burn it, end of problem. Knowing that thermal paper has been treated, but not with what I'd just as soon choose not to burn (or compost) it.
Random link about gift wrapping hazards: http://access.wa.gov/news/2003/Dec/n20031111_6518.aspx
Excerpt: Washington State Department of Ecology, December 11, 2003
"All paper creates toxins when burned, but the colored or glossy papers used to wrap presents have even more poison in its smoke. The inks and coatings are commonly made of plastics, toxic metals such as copper, lead and chrome, and other hazardous materials. When burned, these materials become tiny particles that lodge deep in the lungs. Poisons in the paper can damage nervous systems, kidneys and other organs, and could even result in cancer over time."
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Without getting pedantic about 'ink' here is an interesting summary of thermal printing technology:
http://www.lintech.org/comp-per/16THERM.pdf
For what it's worth, they call the thermally sensitive material 'dye' (16.3.1 Direct Printing on Thermal Paper, p.5).

car
that
The crystalized ones I mentioned have been stowed away in manila envelopes or paper boxes, 60F-80F. Most of them are legible, but the contrast is unusally considerably less. But I also have some that have had the heat exposure (esp. pizza hut) and are ~50% dark.
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buster snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (Baxter) wrote in message

Yes, You are able to put receipts in to your compost bin, but not too many.
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Yes you are able to put more store receipts in to your compost pile, not too many tho, and some receipts are print on fax like paper, this should not be used as it has been treated.
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On Mon, 03 May 2004 14:53:42 -0700, Baxter wrote:

The compost heap is a good place for old tax forms, too. Too bad politicians can't be composted and recycled. What a plus for the environment! I suspect adding politicians to the compost heap will contaminate the area for years to come.
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"............The compost heap is a good place for old tax forms, too. Too bad politicians can't be composted and recycled. What a plus for the environment! I suspect adding politicians to the compost heap will contaminate the area for years to come .........."
But not as much as leaving them walking and talking will.
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