Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Testing Compostable Products–The Start

Testing Compostables

I’ve been wanting to do this test for a while now. More and more products seem to be labeled as compostable or biodegradable which I really like, but I wonder, do they really? How long does it take? Will they compost in my backyard composter or do they require industrial composting?

I’ve been collecting items for about a year now. First up, two 100% cotton shirts. I’ve heard these compost nicely. I was cleaning out my closet and donated several large bags of old clothes, but I kept these two to experiment with. I expect them to decompose. I wonder how long it will take.

Testing Compostables

I also added:

  • plastic bag
  • plastic paint sheet
  • several cups (6)
  • one cup lid
  • takeout tray
  • sample cups
  • bamboo bowl
  • 3 forks
  • a spoon
  • plastic wrapper for fork
  • 2 dryer sheets (used)

Testing Compostables

It looks like trash! All the products are proudly labeled compostable, so I hope this works. I put them into the middle of a new compost heap I was creating. It was mostly shredded leaves with a few buckets of kitchen scraps. The test material is in the middle of the bed. The bed itself is 42 inches (107cm) in diameter by 36 inches (92cm) high.

I was torn if I should shred the items first, but I thought this would better more authentic to leave them whole. It might make finding them easier later as well if they don’t compost. I’ve been composting the dryer sheets for a while now, so I know they work. I think the plastic might as well since it is thin. I’m excited to see what happens.

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I set it up in my new geobin with a pile of shredded leaves on top. Then I watered the entire thing thoroughly. I plan on checking on the items in a few months to see if there is any change. Stay tuned!

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