Composting???? a friendly and growing community of gardeners. We feature a Garden Discussion Forum and Garden Photo Gallery. It's a fun and friendly place to talk with other gardeners, ask questions, share you knowledge, view and post photos and more! Whether you're a master gardener, or brand new to the hobby, you'll find something of interest here.


I have been composting for years now and love doing it. But I have also been a garbage burner, now we have a NO burning law and I can't burn anything the fines are just to much to pay $375-$15000 . What i would like to know is can i compost dirty kleenex, papertowels? What all do you compost and does it break down fast? With winter here A pile can take me a year to get it the way I want it so I need things that will break down fast kind of. My shredded paper I sprinkle on my flower gardens with the leaves I put on them for the winter and it decomposes over the winter. Any help or suggestions would be great, as the less i have to pay to get rid of the better.
Here are some ideas:

Thinking of going Green ?

This is what we do with kleenex, paper towels, paper, cardboard, junk mail, etc. FIREPLACE. Got one ? No ? We use cloth hankies, table cloth napkins, & towels to dry our hands, bodies.

Animal meats, bones (cooked) and other waste we use our in sink garbage grinder/disposal unit or break them up into much smaller bits and flush them in the toilet. Not recommended if your plumbing is bad though.

Vegetable, fruit, and such, we obviously use an outdoor composter.

Plastics with a recycle factor of 2 or less, bottles, aluminum cans, metals, we can "blue bag it" and recycle. The same with all the paper products that have no chemicals or body excretions.

Here is what I do: I have an 81 year old friend that lives down the street. Regularly, I help out with her lawn care, maintenance or otherwise. She'll pay for her own garbage service by allowing me to deposit my garbage in her can. Instead of paying me to do the work. This way I don't pay a cent for garbage pickup. These are the nice little benefits I'm looking for rather than payment from someone who is living from month to month.
Last edited:
I think I would be cautious about composting Kleenex that had been used for colds or flu. It's unlikely that any pathogenic virus would survive the composting, but I like to be on the safe side. I would also use undyed or patterned paper towels if I was going to compost them.
thanks Blue, I wasn't sure about the kleenex so I think I will put them in the garbage. I don't use paper towels lots and always get the white ones, we use bar towels for mess clean up they work great, we even use them for napkins sometimes, being able to wash items helps a lot too. I just know that all this extra recycling is taking me a hour a day to sort and bag them for taking to the dump.

I recommend buying the ShamWow for any spills/cleanup in your kitchen and around the house. I bought mine with a 20% off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond. It has really lessened my paper towel usage.

Also, I wonder if the recycled paper goods (like Seventh Generation) would decompose faster? I don't know why I think this - and I could be making up a theory LOL. I prefer them because they're whitened without bleach.

ps - I congratulate you for composting and recycling so well. :)
ShamWow walmart has the smaller ones for cheap think I'll add that to my shopping list for tomorrow, thanks MrsH

Just turned the compost pile and some of the bottom was ready so I just added it with shredded paper and rabbit manure to my raised bed for next summer, have it all mixed in, looks lovely. Left all the worms in the pile to continue to do their job. Kids think I'm crazy, maybe so be it works.
I compost paper towels that were used for spills but never the ones used for protein products (such as wiping up a dropped egg or micro cooking bacon. It can sour the compost and attract vermin. Dried egg shells are fine though and the worms LOVE them. I keep a separate compost pile for weeds so that I'm not adding their seeds to my garden. Paper and cardboard that have been cut in small pieces can be added just like leaves or any "brown" material. I would toss those kleenex unless they were used for applying/removing makeup.
And as you say,if the kids think you are crazy you ARE doing it right:) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to