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wax paper

Posted by louisianagal z7bMS (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 1, 08 at 0:30

anyone see any reason not to compost wax paper. I shred it first. Basically I buy some bread that comes in a waxy paper.
What about candle wax, while I'm on the subject?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: wax paper

Paraffin is a petrochemical in line with tar and pitch. Consider paraffin, and beeswax too, is used to coat cheeses against air and moisture to prevent spoilage. This wouldn't work if the waxes themselves were able to degrade as well.


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RE: wax paper

Many folks, myself included, compost waxed paper and coated materials regularly with no problems. Same with candle wax - slow but does decompose.

Waxed paper has been discussed before here if you wish to search out the discussions. Don't know if candle wax has been or not.

Dave


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RE: wax paper

The bioremediation people once evaporate wax and condensed it onto cardboard and then composted it as one method of disposal of wax waste. So, under proper conditions at least wax will quite obviously compost.


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RE: wax paper

Thanks, albert 135, I think you make my point for me. :)

Seriously, though, paraffin is a very long, straight chain carbon molecule fully saturated with hydrogen bonds. It's a product of petroleum. Chemically speaking these compounds are quite inert, insoluble in water, and are indigestable by higher organisms.

There are soil bacteria existing which metabolize hydrocarbons. A normal, non-contaminated soil isn't going to have a lot of them hanging around, starving, in hopes of some wax paper. They are a pretty specialized group, and work best at room temperature, slowing down in the cool or the warm.

I agree it would be slow--glacial, even. Working from this perspective, one could also 'compost' shredded garbage bags.


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RE: wax paper

Sorry but there is a big difference between composting the shredded, waxed paper bags that some bread comes in - the original question - and composting shredded garbage bags, assuming you are referring to plastic rather than paper garbage bags.

If one allows for the extrapolation to that extreme then one must also allow for the reverse extrapolation: compost only materials which are composed of 100% short-chain carbon molecule, non-hydrogenated fibers and which will decompose in what, 60 days or less. Sorry, too complex for this old composter.

Moderation in all things works well in composting too. ;)

Dave


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RE: wax paper

I say this: try it. Throw in one, unshredded bag (for easy visibility). If it starts to decompose quickly enough for you, throw in some more, shredded for quicker decomposition. Unless you're throwing in scads, it should be fine.

Also, the site below claims that most (particularly food-grade) wax paper should compost just fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Internation Group on wax paper and environmentalism


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RE: wax paper

Appreciate all the viewpoints and info.
Thanks.


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RE: wax paper

Yes, I went overboard with the garbage bag comment. Bags are a polymer, and that's different. Can I change it to 'a little baby oil, a little gasoline, a little vaseline' won't hurt anything? I'm not usually a purist, but for something that seems so unlikely I need solid proof.

I see a difference in waste disposal (good thing) and composting to benefit the soil and plants. The environment IS complex, and I'm skeptical of introducing petroleum products and breeding whatever bacteria that eat them will be good for my garden. Even the studies linked above say the plant yield and growth was lowered, and they were sponsored by the wax industry. Lucky for me, I don't have a lot of wax paper I need to get rid of.

And I swear, I've never seen any rotten, moldy old candles...


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RE: wax paper

louisianagal, you get big points for a very diplomatic follow-up post. :)

petalpatsy, I infer from the OP that this is a question of two options: Must she throw the wax paper in the trash (assuming recycling wax paper is not an option in her area), or can she compost it? I could certainly be wrong in my interpretation of her underlying question, but you could also be wrong on your flip side.

I'm sure I don't have to point out that some people compost to help their gardens, some people compost to reduce landfill waste, and most people compost to do varying amounts of both. So, ultimately, it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis for the individual composter. I guess I probably didn't have to say that either, though. ;-)


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RE: wax paper

All true enough, Witeowl. I unwrapped a stick of butter yesterday, and I certainly did do a squinty eyed stare at the paper. Glanced at my garbage can....glanced at my compost bucket.....decided I was nut, and left it on the counter. LOL!


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RE: wax paper

Genuine LOL, petalpatsy! :-D


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RE: wax paper

  • Posted by dorisl 5 NW Chicago burbs (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 2, 08 at 23:30

funny thing about petroleum stuff, didnt it come from dinosaurs and old plant material that "decomposed" (quotes because it might be some other verb I dont know)

course it gets refined and who knows WHAT gets added to it...


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