New-no sawdust so what to use

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: New-no sawdust so what to use
Author: Burcu (Burcu)
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 2:41 pm
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Hi, thank you for your generous informations. We are beginners, these are very first days....We keep reading your book and forums. We are having difficulties to find regular sawdust. What we found is very fine like sand, does it matter the texture or fineness?

Author: Rman (Rman)
Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 1:11 pm
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I have been experimenting with adding coffee grounds to my sawdust cover material seems to work well although the percentage is small. I am doing this for the added value of the grounds before they get to the compost pile. For about a month now I have been dumping grounds into an open pyrex bowl that I keep in the kitchen. Within a day I can add them to the cover material but I normally do that about every 3 or 4 day depending on build up. We don't produce a lot of grounds per week but every little bit helps and I have to handle them snyway.

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 4:39 am
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As a life improvement, you could say that every day you are turning over a new leaf!

Author: Rman (Rman)
Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 11:28 pm
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I second the notion of producing lots if you can, even if you stockpile it somewhere that you can retrieve it in need. Way better to have too much than to run out.

Author: Ecointerest (Ecointerest)
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 3:53 pm
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Karen, I would suggest preparing as much leaf litter as you can while you are at it. Even 5 or 6 bins. Because once you have found a way of doing it, it will probably be quite quick as a procedure.
If you find there is more than enough for the first year, you will have less work to do next year.
One previous poster here has mentioned pine needles. They work well too.

Author: Karen (Karen)
Monday, October 19, 2015 - 11:46 am
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How much leaves would I need to collect for the toliet covering material for 1 person for the year i.e. would a 35 gallon of mulched leaves last until the next fall?

Author: Patrick (Pcinca)
Saturday, March 07, 2009 - 2:00 pm
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I have used small, dry Eugenia leaves for 3 years now and with great results. Other leaves such as dry fig leaves are fragile and break up easily when loaded into a trash container and stomped on. A mower works good for tougher leaves and an electric mulcher/shredder works even better. I have a large gas powered shredder for twigs and tough leaves like Oak, but I prefer not to use it too often because of the noise and smog it produces. Shredded leaves mimic sawdust and work fine the H. toilet, but when left whole, they make good cover material for the compost bin.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Friday, March 06, 2009 - 10:10 pm
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No. Try it if you don't care what happens to your mower. ;)

Author: Sally (Sally)
Friday, March 06, 2009 - 4:06 pm
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I wonder would the mower method work for wood shavings?

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Friday, March 06, 2009 - 10:02 am
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Leaf grinder?

I pile some dry leaves on the driveway and run the power mower over them. Takes about 3 minutes to crush them down, 5-10 minutes of raking and sweeping.

I have been mulching leaves on the lawn for years, and still do it. I never thought of "mulching" them on the driveway. Before I discovered this quick method, I was drying them in my makeshift solar oven and crumbling them with my hands. When they are really dry, they crumble readily.

(Message edited by demeter on March 06, 2009)

Author: sallie mouser (Sallie)
Friday, March 06, 2009 - 2:00 am
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Thanks for the tips. I guess I'll need to get a leaf grinder. I didn't want to have to use one though. I will see if there is any sawdust available around here.

Author: Demeter (Demeter)
Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 8:45 pm
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Sallie, leaves work great. They are a carbon source like sawdust. They aren't quite as absorbent, but they make a fine biofilter. For indoor use, they need to be ground up really fine. For the outdoor bin, keep them whole for good aeration. You don't need to worry about "too many leaves" as long as you use them for cover. What you cover adds the nitrogen.

Coffee grounds add additional nitrogen, but have some carbon as well. They are good odor absorbers. Don't use wood ash!

Author: sallie mouser (Sallie)
Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 2:11 pm
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I'm not sure if I can get sawdust that isn't from a cabinet maker. I have lots of maple leaves. Can I use primarily leaves as cover for the toilet and also as cover for the compost bin? This might be too many leaves for good compost. I also have pine needles. I am trying to make my system as closed as possible.
Oh, I also would have some wood ash in winter from woodstove and hubby could get coffee grounds.
Thanks, Sallie

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