staples in bags of cross-shredded paper

mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)July 18, 2011

Local printing shop is offering free bags of shredded paper and states there are some staples in them. I am wondering if the staples might sift down to the bottom of the bag if I shake it a bit before grabbing handfuls of paper, or will I be ending up with staples in the compost? Anyone with experience on this?

Rachel

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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

Hi Rachel,
Staples are no big deal,I would use that stuff in a heartbeat.
No...They will not "sift down" they are still attached to the paper, but if you put them into your compost, you will never see them again.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 7:30PM
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patchworkfarm(6)

I'd use it too, without worrying about the staples. I raise poultry and I'm meticulous about not leaving small pieces of metal around to initiate "hardware disease" in curious birds. But I've found that office staples pretty much rust away in a compost pile (which I protect from said birds.)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:52PM
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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

cool! Then I guess I will stop ripping off the staples from the paper I generate myself! Thanks Jon and Patch'. I really need some browns these days.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:03PM
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mean_74(4A)

I've had the same experience. Staples disappear.

The 4 inch lag bolt I found in the pile however is a bit more stubborn.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 2:36PM
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Lloyd

Staples not really an issue, this or these on the other hand....

Lloyd

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 2:42PM
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phytolacca

The only thing I can add to the responses above is to note that iron is a micronutrient and staples therefore aren't just harmless but may be beneficial, depending on your soil conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: macronutrients and micronutrients in plant tissue

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:46PM
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darth_weeder(z7 NY)

Lloyd that's a few bucks in scrap aluminum you have there
as for the tools?
What is the rubber chicken used for?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:47PM
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molex

so I should be shooting the staples directly into the soil?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:37AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

He uses that rubber chicken for really stubborn garden issues. Waving a rubber chicken over the problem always helps me!

Works for computer issues too!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:00PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Lloyd is that stuff you've had mixed up in the bags of leaves you get? If so there must be lots of people wondering where their tools went...

Aren't staples made of steel? Office staples are so little they would rust quickly. I sometimes leave those big staples that come on the big cardboard boxes. They are a pain to remove from the cardboard. Hopefully they'll break down fast enough.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 9:09PM
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Lloyd

I get several dozen different tools every year. I assume people place them on top of a bag or pile of trimmings and forget about them. I've probably given about 25 or so away.

The chicken just looks cute, he usually rides around on the golf cart with me. I also get bunches of the artificial flowers as well, they get stuck on whatever piece of machinery I can stick them on. The trailer has some on the front corners, people laugh at them, makes me smile, no harm done.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 9:25PM
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bpgreen(5UT)

Staples.

That was easy.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 11:41PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

When giving composting workshops I tell people about all the kitchen waste they can compost, including tea bags. Inevitably someone raises their hand and asks about the cotton string, and the little paper label, and finally, the staple. I just smile and tell them it will disappear faster than you can say Orange Pekoe.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:37AM
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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

Okay, this shredded paper has to be one of the best browns I have ever used, second to shredded leaves.

I have not even seen a staple coming out of the bag, and from what you all have said, I never will when it is finished LOL.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 2:21PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

Paper has a C:N of about 400-500, much higher than leaves, so it is a super-brown!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 3:35PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I have occasionally come across a staple in my compost, but not very often. IME its not a problem

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 5:33PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I also shred most of the paper that comes in the mail and dump it all, staples included, in the compost pile. I've never seen a staple in the compost.

However, the shredding process can be messy and I sometimes spill the shreddees on the floor and they get tracked around the house. Those escaped staples have an affinity for socks and can suddenly turn on you and stick your foot.

Claire

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 4:15PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I find all sorts of weird things in my compost... bits of plastic, metal pop can tabs, a nail, a plastic flower, a hair clip... I must have people in my house who aren't as careful as they should be when it comes to separating what goes in the compost bin, the recycle bin and the garbage.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 6:03PM
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