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Compost detritus

I'm ashamed to post these photos of stuff out of my compost heap.  I am always very careful to ensure anything I put on the heap is compostable, but every year it's the same, plastic stuff finds its way in.  I guess some of it may be from so-called compostable bags which I  have discovered do not compost in my heap which never gets up to temperature.  But what are these little strips of plastic from?  Some of them seem to have remains of a bar code on them.  Should I suspect one of my family surreptitiously using the heap as a rubbish bin .... ?


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,399
    I find a large amount of plastic crap in my compost bins, even though I think of myself as careful. It's depressing.
  • MikeOxgreenMikeOxgreen PenninesPosts: 318
    Probably the family as you say. Sorry no idea on the strips, but it's not an issue. It should have been put in the black bin and can still go in there now.
    If i've got heavily taped up boxes or those stupid envelopes with plastic windows they go on the compost heap as they are and I fish the plastic out later.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,874
    I think I know what those strips are,  do you buy stuff on the Internet or mail order,  they send an invoice with the goods and on the back there’s a returns label,  I’ve got those in our bin where I screw up the whole invoice with the returns label and strip. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • bédébédé Surrey Hills, acid greensand.Posts: 420
    WE're gardeners not detectives.  Sometimes one has to accept "don't know".

    What do you use the compost for?  Just dispose of the stuff you don't like when you unearth it.
  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,319
    I also find quite a lot of plastic in my bin even though I'm reasonably careful when I put stuff in.
    I suspect what appears to be a printed image on some boxes or paper may actually be a bonded plastic film and quite a few 'paper' products which look as though they will fully compost contain 'hidden' plastic liners.
    Some cardboard boxes are so heavily taped or covered in labels that I can't be bothered to remove it all. I break down the boxes as best I can to compost the cardboard and accept I'll be fishing out plastic next year.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,841
    At least it's your own detritus in there rather than the stuff you find in bought compost. 
    @StephenSouthwest. I was just about to follow your instructions until I saw the bit about parsnips - they are an abomination that should not be encouraged by any means.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,399
    edited 22 September
    bédé said:
    We're gardeners not detectives. 

    But detecting in life is the fun bit - exploration, reasoning, discovering, learning. It's a shame that all that is not to your taste.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 2,272
    I agree Fire, I too enjoy the why's and wherefore's and the moment when the penny finally drops and discovering that usually it's my own fault and hopefully I won't make the same mistake again. 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,399
    … as in life, yes. 😆
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