Compost question - Knowledgebase Question

New York, Ne
Question by mclapps
August 6, 2009
Hi, I'm actually working on a brief article for Martha Stewart Living magazine and am in need of some information on composting. Can you compost fabrics? What types of fabric can be composted, and what can't? How long would the process take? Any information you can give me on this would be great. Thanks so much - Madeline Clapps


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Answer from NGA
August 6, 2009

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Interesting question! You can compost any naturally occuring material. In essence, composting is the degradation of once living plant material so cotton would top the list of compostable fabrics, followed by wool. Anything synthetic probably would not compost well so I'd keep it out of the compost bin. The time it takes natural fibers or fabrics to decompose would depend upon how well managed the compost pile is, and how large the material is - the smaller the pieces, the faster it will break down and the hotter the compost pile, the faster things will decompose. Hope this answers your question!

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