Mussel shells in compost?

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: Humanure Composting Around the World: Mussel shells in compost?
Author: betyonfire
Saturday, March 30, 2002 - 12:21 pm
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I'm just starting up a humanure compost and am curious about whether mussel, oyster and quahog shells compost well. Anyone know?

Author: admin
Monday, April 01, 2002 - 12:37 am
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Yes, shells will eventually compost.

Author: Curt
Monday, April 01, 2002 - 5:01 pm
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I'm thinking that it won't really, but would be good, especially if you have clay soil.
My reasoning for it not composting is based on my being from the coast of Maine where you can still see big piles of shells where the American Indians dumped them after meals years and years ago.
People that live around the coast sometimes put the shells on their driveway to give it that nice white(blue, black) color.
I think crab or lobster shells might be a different story though.

Author: admin
Tuesday, April 02, 2002 - 11:36 am
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Heavy shells alone are mostly mineral and not really compost material, but softer shelled remains of shell-fish will definitely compost. Heavier shells may compost (i.e. soften and break down) eventually in a proper compost pile. Bones will, but it takes a lot of time. It would be good to be able to crush the shells before adding them to a compost pile (or directly to the soil).

Author: Frank B
Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 6:11 pm
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Shell middens and compost piles are two different
system environments. Shells mostly calcium will
be great for worm reproduction. The smaller the pieces the greater the surface area for micro-organisms to act upon. So step on them or hit them
with a rock or hammer first. After all you are
composting your egg shells, aren't you?

Author: Ron
Friday, February 21, 2003 - 12:14 pm
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After a feed of lobster or crabs in the spring I put the remains in my compost pile wrapped in the newspaper I used while eating the lobster. Almost all the remains were composted by that fall. As far as clam shells and such I spread them around a small lighthouse I built for the purpose of storing my screened compost. The shells eventually break down and I keep adding more around the lighthouse with every feed I have. I even collect some shells from my seaside cottage to put around the lighthouse. I've been doing this for over fifteen years and the shell pile is not getting any bigger.

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