Can You Compost Burlap Sacks?

There are many things that can go in your compost bin. It’s not just for leftovers and other organic waste that can’t be thrown away any other way. Even if something doesn’t seem like it would break down easily, if it was alive at one point and is made of plant materials, you can probably compost it.

Although, there are some things that will keep your compost from working well. If you want to get the most out of your compost, you should avoid putting certain things in it.

If you’ve found yourself wondering “are burlap sacks compostable?”, “how do I do it?” and “how long will they take to compost?”: you’ve come to the right place.

Can you put burlap sacks in the compost?

Yes, burlap sacks are compostable. Adding burlap sacks to your compost pile will contribute to creating a nutrient-rich fertiliser that you can use in your garden.

Can you put them in the waste bin?

If you don’t have a compost bin, you can put natural materials in the appropriate roadside collection bin but biodegradable materials like burlap sacks are better off being in a compost pile.

Disposing of organic or compostable waste like natural materials in landfill can contribute to the release of potent greenhouse gases like methane, which has around 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.

Methane emissions are significantly reduced by composting suitable food waste and organic materials.

How to compost burlap sacks

You should cut the burlap material into small strips and layer them into your compost pile.

As a brown material, you should be adding burlap sacks and other brown carbon-rich materials then a layer of green to cover it. Remember to use a garden fork or a stick to poke holes in your compost every couple of weeks to mix the pile up.

How long will burlap sacks take to compost?

It takes up to 10 years for burlap sacks to completely decompose in a compost. Because they take a really long time to break down, you may want to consider whether they should go in your compost at all.

Burlap sacks discarded on the ground or buried in the ground will take longer to decompose.

Are burlap sacks a green or brown material?

Burlap sacks should be considered a brown material when composting.

Materials that are brown, like burlap sacks, are often more dry solid and woody; and are a source of carbon (one of the four essential ingredients) for your compost. Harder brown materials create air pockets that provide oxygen for the microorganisms breaking the compost pile down.

Composts rely on brown materials like burlap sacks to add bulk and structure to the pile.

Will composting them attract pests?

No. Burlap sacks will not attract pests.

Composting considerations

When composting burlap sacks, you should consider using the burlap sack as the bottom base of your compost as it will not rot away for years.

Omar Agor-Wood
Omar Agor-Wood

Omar is a digital marketer by day for one of the UK's largest environmental consultancy companies, and is writing like the world depends on it for Pick Ethical at night. He has a passion for hiking, bouldering, and making a fuss of his dog.

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