Can you compost Oxalic Strips

Welcome to NZ Beekeepers+
Would you like to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Otto

Gold
95
226
Dunedin
Experience
Semi Commercial
I'll mix the latest bucket I collected into my compost heap and see what happens (this is a bucket of leftover bits ranging from very small pieces to in tact staples). I can't see any issues with my 3 ingredient staples (paper, oxalic acid and glycerine). I'll let you know how it goes...
 
1,310
1,790
North Canterbury
Experience
Commercial
I'll mix the latest bucket I collected into my compost heap and see what happens (this is a bucket of leftover bits ranging from very small pieces to in tact staples). I can't see any issues with my 3 ingredient staples (paper, oxalic acid and glycerine). I'll let you know how it goes...
My compost is chock a full of worms.. I got rid of the chooks a while ago so our food waste all goes in these days.. wonder how the worms would go with the oxalic?
 

Otto

Gold
95
226
Dunedin
Experience
Semi Commercial
Did a quick Google search. Rhubarb leaves have lots of oxalic acid in them and this breaks down pretty quickly in a compost heap. Can't imagine why leftover staples would be much different. Just make sure the paper or cardboard and cotton (if sewing) will break down too.
 
  • Good Info
  • Like
Reactions: Grant and kaihoka

Otto

Gold
95
226
Dunedin
Experience
Semi Commercial
So I'll set up a separate compost heap for these. Mix with a bunch of organic matter and see what happens. Easy enough experiment to set up.
By setting up a dedicated compost for these you'll select for things that are happy to break them down, so it should get better at it as you feed it more.
 
364
273
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
So I'll set up a separate compost heap for these. Mix with a bunch of organic matter and see what happens. Easy enough experiment to set up.
By setting up a dedicated compost for these you'll select for things that are happy to break them down, so it should get better at it as you feed it more.
Hi Otto - Interesting in terms of sustainability. What will you be selecting for? What will you be feeding it with? What mechanism will you be breaking it down with?
 

Otto

Gold
95
226
Dunedin
Experience
Semi Commercial
Hi Otto - Interesting in terms of sustainability. What will you be selecting for? What will you be feeding it with? What mechanism will you be breaking it down with?
Just use nature. Mix the oxalic strips with some partly composted mulch and compost and leave it. See what happens. The idea is that there are bacteria, fungi etc that can break them down. The easiest way to find them is to mix together a bunch of different ones from different sources with the leftover strips. You will select for the ones that can do the job because they will thrive in the environment you create. I think diluting the leftover strips with some mulch would be sensible to dilute the acid.
Concept is essentially the same as starting a sourdough culture for bread. I've done this numerous times by grating the skin from an apple from my own backyard (natural source of yeasts) and mixing this with water and flour. Then feed regularly with flour and water to select for yeasts that utilize the flour well. Within a week or two you have a culture that you can make bread with.
 
13
11
Dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
I add some lime to the leftovers. Calcium from the limestone binds oxalic acid and forms an insoluble and in terms of biology inactive product. In a compost heap Calcium Oxalate would disintegrate very very slowly so the oxalate toxicity will be basically reduced to zero. It might not be a bad thought to add lime as well before the leftovers and used strip bits are binned.
 

yesbut

Staff member
11,878
6,991
Nelson
Experience
Hobbyist
Mine get tossed out of the hive and left to hang around. They seem to disappear ! Can't say the same about the "shop cloth's " I tried. Those rotten things hang around for ages and have to be binned.
 
  • Good Info
Reactions: NatureAlley


Top