John C Robinson

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since Jul 07, 2014
I have a small  Egyptian tortoise that likes to roam on the lawn in the hot weather. I also have a small parrot who likes to sit in the grass. This means chemical herbicides and weed controls are not an option.
Raising a lawn is like raising a child. Everyone has different advice, often conflicting, but everyone now seems to agree that one shouldn't dump chemicals on either one.
Lynn, MA (Zone 6A)
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Recent posts by John C Robinson

Thanks for all the replies. Reducing the amount of paper isn't really a possibility. We are already as conservative as we can be in that regard because supply of paper can be a problem.

I'm starting to add bird newspaper to the compost bin at home. I have 3 birds, so it will be a good experiment to do it here. Of course, the sky still thinks it's winter, so nothing is compostimf much, yet.

I'm going to try adding the newspaper to the compost at the rescue a few days a week. We will try it when I am there and can make sure it get separated properly. We will see how it works and go from there. My plan is to add crumpled newspaper to the regular compost pile, and start another bin of just newspapaer and see how that works.

I think the real answer is going to be to find somebody who needs our poopy paper. Maybe a big composting operation like the landscapers use. Maybe the newspapaer will help mixed with all those grass clippings. I'm going to find one down in the area and talk to them. We might be able to get a landscaper to come by and pick up our waste paper.
1 year ago
I'm looking into composting worms, but it looks like most of the worms are non-native. I'm not trying to pick on the OP here, I just have this question and it seems like a recent and relevant thread for the question.

It does not seem environmentally wise to introduce non-native species of worms to the environment. It's such a bad problem here in New England that I can't even google to find out which worms ARE native. All i get is page after page of articles about the invasive worm problem.

The OP here may be using native worms, but I have been looking at worm suppliers, and the invasive worm problems don't seem to be a concern to them at all.

Is anyone else concerned about this? I do bird rehab, and I know we cannot release an English sparrow or a Starling back into the wild, even though they very established in this area. I don't know why it would be different with other species of animal.
2 years ago
I looked at an earthworm composting site. They're selling worms like European night crawlers and other things that are invasive here. It's already a massive problem. That ship may have already sailed. The invasive worms are like house sparrows and starlings, they're probably not going anywhere, but I'll have to find out what worms are native.
2 years ago
I'll also look into composting worms. I'll ask our gardener. She's not around much in the winter.

Thanks for the input. I don't know why I didn't think of this a long time ago.
2 years ago
Shredded newspaper won't really work with large animals who flap their wings. Even the sheets of newspaper sometimes end up everywhere.

The droppings are there on the paper, along with some fruits, nuts, veggies, pellets, etc.

I'll try composting some with the disposed vegetable waste. I'm just afraid of running out of space. We fill a couple of 55 gallon plastic bags with crumpled newspaper every day. I suppose I'll do what I can and then get rid of the rest.

Also, if any of you are near Warwick RI, we can give you all the Parrot poop covered newspaper you can use!
2 years ago
I am a volunteer and the maintenance guy at a Parrot Rescue about 80 miles from my house. We use a lot of newspaper every day in the bird cages. The paper is changed daily. It is covered with bird droppings and food and is thus considered unsuitable for the curbside recycling here. We have a dumpster that is emptied weekly. Newspaper is a considerable about of what is in the dumpster. It's easily the majority. We jump in the dumpster the best we can, to reduce the volume, and we tried soaking the paper. These help somewhat.

We also feed the birds vegetables and fruits every day. Uneaten stuff, rotten stuff, peels, soiled or spoiled bird pellets, all go into a compost pile. It's just a pile. We get some fertilizer out of it for our garden, but mostly it's a disposal method with some side benefits.

I want to start composting the newspaper somehow. There Is far too much to add to our regular compost pile. We would have no green/brown balance, at all. I'm also not sure how to go about shredding all that paper. (Picture 120 large bird cages changed every day.)

My current thought is to take the paper, unshredded, and put it in a separate large bin. We could then compress and soak the newspaper and hopefully let it just rot into the ground. Usable compost isn't really the goal here. If I can save money on the dumpster fees, I can buy compost I need for my gardens. I don't know where our dumpster stuff goes from here. I don't know if it's landfill or incinerator, but either way, reducing that stream has environmental benefits, too.

We are staffed daily by volunteers. We barely have enough help to care for, rehabilitate, and socialize the Parrots. I don't want to add a bunch of work, but if newspaper compost pile only needs to be tended to a couple of times a week, I can assign specific people to do it.

We already separate the glossy stuff. We don't want the birds chewing that up. The glossy stuff goes out to curbside.

I'm picturing a 4x8 open top bin. A couple of 4x4 pieces of plywood could be thrown on top to keep the stuff from blowing out. We can  put the paper in, compress it under the plywood, keep it wet, and hope to rot it into the ground.

Has anyone tried this? I did a quick search on newspaper but didn't find anything.
2 years ago
One tiny flower has appeared!
They're not bad here. Too cold in the winter. And they won't reseed if the won't flower!
Pictures attached