Can You Compost Envelopes?

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 envelopes compostable?”, “how do I do it?” and “how long will they take to compost?”: you’ve come to the right place.

Can you put envelopes in the compost?

Yes, envelopes are compostable. Adding envelopes 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 paper and cardboard in the appropriate roadside collection bin but biodegradable materials like envelopes are better off being in a compost pile.

Disposing of organic or compostable waste like paper and cardboard 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 envelopes

You should shred or tear up the paper to allow oxygen to get inside and allow it to break down.

As a brown material, you should be adding envelopes 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 envelopes take to compost?

It takes 4 weeks for envelopes to completely decompose in a compost. Because they decompose relatively quickly, you can regularly add them to your compost.

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

Are envelopes a green or brown material?

Envelopes should be considered a brown material when composting.

Materials that are brown, like envelopes, 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 envelopes to add bulk and structure to the pile.

Will composting them attract pests?

No. Envelopes will not attract pests.

Composting considerations

When composting envelopes, you should add some water to dampen it and start the rotting process.

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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