Can You Compost Paper with Ink?

Last Updated on April 24, 2021 by Jeffery Jago

Yes, you can compost paper with ink. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before throwing your old documents into the bin and expecting them to break down quickly. The first thing is that no matter what kind of paper you have it will need oxygen for decomposition so make sure to mix it up if you’re not using a dedicated compost bin. Secondly, be aware that some papers with heavy inks may take longer than others as they don’t allow much air circulation between the fibers of the paper which slows down decomposition time.

Worms will greatly speed up this process. Is the ink bad for them? Yes, of course, But it likely won’t kill them at any significant speed or rate in which you need to be overly concerned.

It’s good practice however to have separate bins for paper/inky paper and normal everyday organic waste bins. These 2 things break down differently and at varying rates (paper being much much longer).

There are more compostable friendly inks like soy-based inks or vegetable dyes that reduce the ink’s impact on worm health. Although it will take time before the world is ready to use these.

In conclusion, it’s safe to compost paper with ink on it in vermicomposting bins or regular composting heaps.

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