Compost Experiment

This week, I ate at the ever enjoyable Pizzeria Pagliacci's (a guy should be able to indulge himself on his birthday, right?). Besides having some awesome pizza and salad, which was not a surprise, I was served a frothy root beer in this "plastic" cup. It seems like any other plastic cup, even more sturdy, but it advertises as being made completely of corn and totally compostable.

Not that I don't trust one of my favorite pizza places, but I gotta see this for myself. Does the marketing definition of "compostable" agree with mine? Do you first have to send it through a shredder? Does it take non-normal composting temperatures to break down? Are we talking glacial timeframes here? Hopefully my little experiment will answer all my questions. What I've done is tied a string to said cup, dropped it in our compost (and buried it good with corn leavings etc.), and plan to check on it every 3 months or so. Any guesses? When we shovel compost onto the garden next year, will we notice any [pseudo-]plastic? I, for one, look forward to finding out.
Wednesday August 13 2008File under: environment, misc

Toggle Comments (9)comment?
on Wed 13th Aug, 2008 01:53 pm PDT Nesbitt said:
Heard a story on NPR about the Democrats trying to use compostable balloons at their convention. They tried a similar experiment with a sample and after a few months there was no change to said balloons in the pile. Interested to see your results.
on Wed 13th Aug, 2008 01:55 pm PDT Nesbitt said:
Secondly, advice on good composting units would be helpful; I'm in the market.
on Wed 13th Aug, 2008 02:12 pm PDT gretchen said:
composting corn/cane utensils and cups/plates takes incredibly high temperatures. i'm not sure you'll reach them in a home composting bin in the nw. but i look forward to hearing how the experiment goes.
on Wed 13th Aug, 2008 05:46 pm PDT Sean said:
What kind of compost bin do y'all have? Do you flip it/roll it/stir it up? Or just leave it be?I've got worms.
on Thu 14th Aug, 2008 07:35 am PDT cardboard said:
sounds like you might need the temps a large pile of Hogfuel (hogsfuel, hogged mulch, hog, fuel...whatever you want to call it) to get that baby to break down.
on Thu 14th Aug, 2008 10:04 am PDT Wren said:
Nesbitt and Sean, we are really happy with our compost bin (seen above). It is a cone-shaped jobber with a portion that sits below the ground. The above ground portion has layered walls so that air can get between them. You just throw your compost in there (with the addition of newspaper or sawdust every now and again, and it's happy. We have two side by side and alternate their use every 6-8 months, allowing for full compost. I highly recommend them!
on Thu 14th Aug, 2008 01:58 pm PDT Mom said:
The green cone system is great for us city folks--it keeps the 4-legged varmits out of the compost. Here's more information and a link to the manufacturer
on Thu 14th Aug, 2008 08:19 pm PDT Emily said:
Happy-After Birthday to you!!!
on Mon 06th Sep, 2010 02:11 pm PDT Matt Galvin said:
I am very interested to hear the results. As the owner of the business and the one who was sold on the compostable packaging through Fabri Kal Greenware, I am vested to make sure that we are in fact getting what we are paying for. Matt

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