How to Compost Newsprint


Newspapers are commonly added to compost piles. Paper decomposes nicely, but you must be careful when composting newsprint. The print must only be in black and white; colored ink is harmful to a compost pile. Also, the newsprint shouldn't be covered with a glossy or waxy substance. When you are ready to add the newsprint to your compost pile, it is helpful if you shred it first. This helps the paper decompose a little faster.

Step 1

Set up a composting bin near your garden. Make sure that it is not too close to a neighbor's yard though, because compost can produce an unpleasant odor that might offend your neighbor.

Step 2

Place 8 inches of a combination of shredded newsprint, coffee grinds, crushed egg shells, leaves, and leftover vegetable and fruit pieces in the bottom of your compost bin.

Step 3

Scoop 2 inches of horse or cow manure in your compost bin.

Step 4

Shovel 4 inches of soil on top of your layer of manure. You now have all the components for a successful compost.

Step 5

Water the three layers of compost until they are moist, but not soaked.

Step 6

Repeat the layering process until your compost bin is full. Then use your pitchfork to mix all of the layers together. Mix the compost up once per week.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never compost meat or meat products, dairy products, or oil, as they attract wild animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Composting bin
  • Shredded newsprint
  • Coffee grinds
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Leaves
  • Leftover vegetable and fruit pieces
  • Horse or cow manure
  • Soil
  • Shovel
  • Pitchfork


  • Sierra Club: Hey Mr. Green: Can You Compost Shredded Paper?
  • The Univeristy of Missouri Extension: Making and Using Compost
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: How to Make Compost
Keywords: composting newsprint, composting newspapers, composting basics

About this Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for six years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, Bright Hub, Associated Content and WiseGeek. Bodine is also the current cooking guru for LifeTips. She has received awards for being a top content producer.