Shredded paper

8 October 2007

As there have been a few comments on shredded paper and shredders lately, I thought you might be interested in these photos. This shredder is the one I used for the last 15 years in my business. It's still going strong.

We use shredded computer paper for hen's nests. You can really build a substantial and comfortable nest for a chook with shredded paper. When it's dirty, we put the nests in the compost heap. I've mulched plants with shredded paper but you have to sprinkle on some blood and bone, or some form or nitrogen fertiliser, to stop the nitrogen lock down in the soil as the paper breaks down.

Shredded paper is a really good carbon additive to your compost. When you add it, also add some wet green material like vegetable peels, green leaves or clippings, and wet the paper to help it break down.

We also use a lot of newspaper on the garden and in the worm farm. Worms will eat through newspaper fairly quickly. I just tear the newspaper into strips for the worms but when we have a lot of newspaper, we shred it and add it to the stockpile you see above. Hanno spends about an hour or so shredding paper every month. He places it into the bags in the garden shed so it's ready for use when needed.

You can use ordinary newspaper, but not the glossy, coloured segments, nor magazines. All children's paints, crayons and pencil are safe so kid's drawings are usually fine to use on your garden.


  1. Rhonda, I don't have as many uses for shredded paper as you, but I do use it instead of store-bought kitty litter. It works great, it saves us money and helps rid our home of unnecessary papers. So I tear it by hand... but maybe one day I will need a paper shredder as well.

  2. That's very interesting, Anna. I haven't heard of it being used as kitty litter. Well done! I hope we get some more new uses for it from other readers.

  3. I have a shredder on the way from my mum, and really looking forward to getting rid of some of the excess paper around here. I just wanted to say though, be careful with them around children. Apparently many of them start automatically as soon as paper is put in, which has led to children's fingers getting caught in them. When not in use, keep them unplugged and out of reach.

  4. Hannah BrumerskyjOctober 08, 2007 12:35 pm

    I have used shredded paper as part of a mix for a compost toilet (bucket system rather than a large all in one unit) I mixed it with grass clippings and leaf mulch It was good, but the long strips were hard to handle, I think I would prefer the confetti style shredder and that it would break down quicker as well.

  5. I use it to make my own paper. It doesn't have to be put through a shredder but it sure makes life easier. :-)

  6. Actually I wonder how much space on of those shredders takes?

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  8. I second the keeping it unplugged suggestion.
    We had one at the church that decided to start running all by itself. By the time someone found it, it was quite hot to the touch. It was a miracle that it didn't start a fire - and I have know of them starting fires.
    Also, if you use cutting oil to sharpen the blades, PLEASE make sure the fluid has COMPLETELY dried before you turn it on. We had a custodian burned and a fire started at one of our buildings after he used some of the oil to sharpen the blades and then tried to test it by shredding some paper with it. The solution flashed, caught the paper on fire and he had some serious burns. (I never knew you could/needed to sharpen them!)

  9. I came to visit you by way of anna S blog...
    I find your posts very interesting... I shred all my papers and I never realized there were so many uses for the shredded paper...
    thanks for the valued information.
    I will come and visit you again...
    please visit me at

  10. Hi Rhonda Jean! We do shred papers here, and I am glad to find some ideas for using the shreds.

    I wanted to share how we recycle my dear sweeties' art papers. We use them as wrapping paper. It is such a cute way to decorate packages :) Love to you! Q

  11. Such great tips. I am in search of great composting tips since I am just now starting to compost myself. Great blog you got here. I shall be back! :)

  12. Thanks for all the great information. Organisation in my town in Australia is trying to recycle its large quantities of shredded paper. Have been able to include all your tips in a community magazine I compile in the hope of giving the paper away.


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