1

votes

Do you bury your bones?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 28, 2012 at 4:16 PM

I'm referring to bones from animals you've eaten, not human remains!

In the spirit of composting to nourish our soils and to keep plant matter out of the landfills, does anyone bury the bone remains of their meals to mineralize soil and keep waste down? If you do, then what guidelines can you provide, e.g. how deep to bury them, and how to keep the bones away from my German Shepherd until they decompose. (She gets lots of raw bones but I don't want her to chew on brittle cooked bones that could break and become sharp. And, I don't want her chewing on those really hard weight bearing ruminant bones.)

With composting veggies and burying bones I imagine many of us could keep our trash "footprints" fairly small.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 18, 2013
at 10:39 PM

Bones shouldn't be put in household compost, unless you really know what you're doing. I think they're harder to break down and I know they tend to attract varmints. But they're fine for municipal compost, which tends to be industrial-scale and hot like the pits of hell.

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on May 18, 2013
at 10:14 PM

Lucky! I wish Chicago did this - I'm lucky we even have recycling in our neighborhood, not every area of the city has it!

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:26 PM

Joel Salatin who runs Polyface farms laments that we have a separate system for consuming food and producing food. It should be a single closed system with nutrients cycling through the animals, the farm and us. The resources that went from the farm into the meat and then into me in our current system continues forward to go into the landfill and out to sea (in the sewage.) If the nutrients could return to the farm, then the system would be closed.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 29, 2012
at 01:17 AM

Hmmmm, I should make a windchime out of bones and bullets...

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 28, 2012
at 10:49 PM

So they could do what with them, Diane?

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:25 PM

I wonder if you bury them deep enough would they be safe from scavengers? I don't throw them into my compost pile because I don't want my dog and the other neighborhood critters to find them.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:23 PM

We can also do that in Seattle, it rocks!

32d059a467e99a4fc83201407a4a238d

on September 28, 2012
at 06:13 PM

Indeed, organic matter will break down whether it's in your compost or a landfill. But landfills are such a disruption to the earth's natural ecosystem--whatever organic materials/nutrients are there just sit there forever, they don't get remade into food sources for animals--that some of us prefer to avoid contributing to them entirely, if only to continue the earth's natural ecological processes.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on September 28, 2012
at 04:20 PM

"keep plant matter out of the landfills" -- Why is this important? organic material will breakdown whether it's in your compost or a landfill. I see value in composting, but not to keep organic material out of landfills. To answer your question, I add my bones to my next bone broth, then I toss them -- never considered adding them to my compost.

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9 Answers

5
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on September 28, 2012
at 05:04 PM

Bury the bones? I use them for ornamental jewelry and ceremonial purposes. I also post them around the entrance to my cave to mark the territory.

Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on September 29, 2012
at 01:17 AM

Hmmmm, I should make a windchime out of bones and bullets...

2
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on September 29, 2012
at 12:21 PM

We live out in the country, and I do compost veggie scraps and egg shells. But, bones get tossed over the side of the hill, south of the house, where nature can do its thing.

1
8d0159cec3d62b31d9acce9243915ab9

on September 29, 2012
at 06:31 AM

Yes! If you can't bury your bones please at least throw them in the yard waste or city compost! Also, CD, it's important to keep biodegradable matter out of the trash because it actually biodegrades much, much slower than it would in a compost pile (or even in a random pile of dirt). There is a garbalogist (a real profession, apparently) named Ed Humes who went excavating in several landfills and was able to identify 25-year-old guacamole! The anaerobic conditions of the landfill had prevented the guac from decomposing! You can read the article, which is fascinating, here: http://streetroots.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/trash-talk-the-average-american-produces-102-tons-of-garbage-in-a-lifetime/

I think how we treat our waste is an important aspect of Paleo.

1
2c7026111493687e2d619c9e20e47915

(693)

on September 28, 2012
at 09:56 PM

I never thought of that but I think it's a great idea and I'm going to start doing it. Thanks!

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:34 PM

For people who don't want to risk pets digging the bones up, attracting pests, or don't have much yard, there are microbial compost things you can actually keep in the house, that will break things like bone down efficiently, like the Bokashi one, which have not tried personally because we can put bones in our yard waste bin, but it sounds cool. http://www.bokashicycle.com/FAQ.html

If you do want to buy them in the yard, which I think is brilliant by the way, I would go with whatever your local ordinance is about burying animals in your yard, usually 3-4 feet down. You could also make your own bone meal by cooking the bones until they crumble, and just sprinkling it onto or mixing it into the soil.

1
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:20 PM

In the UK you can put bones in the 'garden waste' bin and the men will collect them and they will go off to composting plants that make them into compost that you can buy back!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:23 PM

We can also do that in Seattle, it rocks!

34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on May 18, 2013
at 10:14 PM

Lucky! I wish Chicago did this - I'm lucky we even have recycling in our neighborhood, not every area of the city has it!

0
4699d2380d55dcfc5b1cb9d7a2b3203f

on May 18, 2013
at 09:47 PM

I have burned bones in the fire - cremated them if you like, they burn down to ash and then i put the ash in the compost.

0
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 28, 2012
at 04:33 PM

I wish I could compost the bones but we can't. Scavengers will be attracted by them and our compost is not hot enough to break them down. What I wish is that if you ordered a styrofoam cooler full of meat from some place like US Wellness you could send all the bones back to them in the styrofoam cooler.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on September 28, 2012
at 10:49 PM

So they could do what with them, Diane?

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 29, 2012
at 06:26 PM

Joel Salatin who runs Polyface farms laments that we have a separate system for consuming food and producing food. It should be a single closed system with nutrients cycling through the animals, the farm and us. The resources that went from the farm into the meat and then into me in our current system continues forward to go into the landfill and out to sea (in the sewage.) If the nutrients could return to the farm, then the system would be closed.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on September 28, 2012
at 06:25 PM

I wonder if you bury them deep enough would they be safe from scavengers? I don't throw them into my compost pile because I don't want my dog and the other neighborhood critters to find them.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on September 28, 2012
at 04:18 PM

You can simply compost them if you like. Though if you Google 'composting bones' you'll find that about half the sources say not to.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 18, 2013
at 10:39 PM

Bones shouldn't be put in household compost, unless you really know what you're doing. I think they're harder to break down and I know they tend to attract varmints. But they're fine for municipal compost, which tends to be industrial-scale and hot like the pits of hell.

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