Paper towels are an essential household item, but their disposal can have a significant environmental impact. Fortunately, paper towels are biodegradable and compostable, meaning they can be broken down by microorganisms and turned into nutrient-rich organic material. However, not all paper towels are created equal, and there are a few things to keep in mind when composting them.
When paper towels are sent to landfills, they contribute to the production of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Composting paper towels is a more sustainable option, as it allows them to break down naturally and contribute to the growth of plants in a backyard or apartment garden.
The decomposition process of paper towels in a compost pile can take anywhere from fourteen to forty-five days, depending on a few factors. Wet paper towels will decompose faster, so it’s a good idea to moisten them before adding them to the compost pile. Additionally, smaller pieces of paper towel will break down faster, while those with chemicals or greasy residue will decompose more slowly.
Used or soiled paper towels can sometimes be composted, but it’s important to be mindful of what they’re soiled with. Meat, oil, butter, grease, and dairy should be avoided, as they can create anaerobic bacteria and lead to foul odors and unwanted pests. Cleaning products of any kind should also be avoided, as they can be harmful to the microorganisms within the compost. Human or animal waste and viruses should also be avoided.
Overall, composting paper towels is a great way to reduce waste and contribute to a healthier environment. By following a few simple guidelines, anyone can compost their paper towels and contribute to the growth of their garden.