My wife bought me a shreder for Christmas. I keep forgetting to use it,
but I have finally gotten to the point where I have to empty it, and I'm
wondering if I can just dump it out in the compost pile. Most of the
shredded papers are things like bank statements, which I would guess are
printed by a laser printer, and I wonder if the toners would be somewhat
toxic. I know a lot of people use newspaper in the garden and just let
it decompose, so I would guess that not all inks are toxic.
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I agree about the slick papers, but why not use paper with color ink? No
ink made today will contain the heavy metals of bygone years. It's all
soy based stuff now. My worms happily eat the Sunday comics.
(Copier and printer repair guy who reads the MSDS sheets.) :)
Today, no inks available today in the USA for consumer end use are toxic,
AFAIK. I've got twenty years in the copier, printer, duplicator business,
and have watched the situation improve spectacularly as far as
enviro-friendly things go.
Black toner is essentially carbon black and a thermoplastic (think hot
glue). The colored inks in your newsprint are soy based.
Your shredded paper will also make great mulch. Once wetted down, it
doesn't blow away. Also, it makes great worm bedding. No worries.
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