Are Paper Towels Compostable Or Not? Let’s Find Out!

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Which Paper Towels To Compost And Which Are Not

Paper towels are usual household waste products that many waste-disposal companies will accept as part of yard waste. But are paper towels compostable? The answer is Yes! however, you also need to consider some factors before doing so. Indeed, paper towels with harmful chemicals like those with fragrance and antibacterial additives are not good for your compost. Moreover, if your used paper towels are greasy and oily then do not add them to your compost pile. It will only disturb the good bacteria condition that helps break down the material. At the same time, it will only create an environment that allows anaerobic bacteria issues causing your pile to smell bad. 

On the other hand, you can compost chemical-free paper towels since the bacteria or food breaks down during the composting process. Indeed, adding them to your compost is a much better idea than throwing them in the trash. Also, you need carbon sources for your compost bin to balance the green material on it. Paper towels are your perfect option. Hence, in composting well-balanced green and brown materials plus moisture and air, are the key ingredients to produce an earthy smell end product. It’s only a matter of balance.

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Paper Towels Can Be Made Of The FF:

  • Wood Fibers: Paper towels use a pulp composed of wood fibers. The fibers bond with each other and then separate until they become a pulp. And it is cleaned and bleached.
  • Cotton: Organic cotton paper towels are most likely washable and reusable.
  • Other Plants: Best examples are the bamboo towels and eucalyptus fibers which are easy on the eyes, your skin, as well as the earth. And usually chlorine-free.

What Not To Compost?

  • large clumps of paper towel
  • paper towels with lots of ink
  • human or animal waste on paper towels
  • when you use it to pick up dog droppings
  • Oils, butter, fats, and grease on paper towels
  • paper towels soiled with cleaning products or other chemicals

What To Compost?

  • plant-based paper towels
  • paper towels that you blow your nose in
  • environmentally sustainable paper towel
  • those paper towels used to dry your hands 
  • paper towels that you used to clean up dirt, water, or plant-based foods

The Benefits Of Composting Paper Towels

  • Less Waste Into Landfills: Landfills are filling up and it has been said that almost half of their waste is compostable. Composting paper towels are a great way to deal with them and reduce your landfill waste.
  • More Garden Compost: The more material you have for your compost piles, the more compost you will end up with. 
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Adding this simple step as part of your eco-friendly habits can go a long way in lowering greenhouse emissions.
  • Balanced Brown Materials To Green Materials: It works as a carbon nutrient that balances the nitrogen in the pile. Additionally, it is a better substitution for leaves in a compost pile whenever dry leaves are in short supply. 
  • Saves Disposal Cost: The transportation and storage of trash are quite expensive. And paper towel composting has been shown to decrease landfill costs on a local level.
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How To Compost Your Paper Towels?

1.) Segregating Safe And Unsafe Paper Towels

Yes, you can compost paper towels, especially if they are clean. Yet, if they are not, they may be unsuitable for your compost pile depending on what you used them to clean up. So the best way is to sort out the paper towels that are safe to compost and place them in your bin with other carbon-based waste.

2.) Breaking Them Down Into Small Pieces

If you want them to decompose quicker, you should cut them into small pieces and add some water to them. It makes the worm acts faster. It will accelerate the decomposition process. This can be as simple as cutting, shredding, or tearing your paper towels like any other paper product when composting.

3.) Adding Wet Paper Towels

A bin that is too dry is equally unpleasant for the worms. On the contrary, healthy compost takes the right balance of moisture. That is why it is best to add wet paper towels to the compost since compost loves moisture. Also, it will ensure the towels will not dry out the compost or be blown away by the wind.

4.) Proper Distribution Of Shredded Paper Towels To The Compost

Always make sure to thoroughly distribute the shredded paper towels to your compost to avoid oxygen deprivation. Mix them well by rotating the bin or using a garden fork. You need to ensure that clumps of composted materials will not form which is important to not compromise the oxygen integrity of your compost pile.

5.) Keep It Hot And Aerated

Also, turn the compost every 2-3 days to keep it hot and aerated. So that the microbes can digest the paper towels and other ingredients.  It will be ready to use more quickly than if you don’t turn it in.

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Are Paper Towels Compostable? Yes, Indeed! Paper Towel Composting Is A Great Idea

Are paper towels compostable? The bottom line is that there are lots of plant-based materials that you can toss in your compost bin after their useful life. Indeed, one of them is your paper towels since they are cellulose fibers. It is a sustainable option to add them to your compost. Moreover, managing and turning your paper towels into compost after use is very important. In fact, it is a way to restore balance to your compost pile and get things back on track. At the same time, reduce your environmental footprint. Paper towels are already part of almost everyone’s life. It helps enrich your compost and, in turn, beautify your garden and landscaping. It takes almost two to six weeks for it to completely break down into an active compost pile. Yet, you will not regret it once successful.

Be mindful of the things that you can compost. Give your trash a new life and keep your environment safe!

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