Well, it finally happened. Our vacuum bag filled up. This doesn’t happen often because we mainly have laminate floors and prefer an old fashioned broom to the overpowering, cat-traumatizing power of our upright vacuum. But nothing beats the clean corners obtained by electrically induced suction, and now our bag is full.
In a perfect world, we would have a bagless version, but in reality we bought it years ago when we were on a pretty thin budget. I specifically remember that we went for the second from the cheapest model, congratulating ourselves on not being the complete lowest of the low. (This was long before the concept of craigslist or freecycle had drifted into my life.)
So the question is, what to do with the dust bag? The paper is biodegradable, and I suspect that inside is mostly garden dirt and cat hair. But I agree with a comment from a previous reader who said that it seems a little weird to put the whole thing in the compost. If we had regular, municipal compost pickup (as opposed to yard trimmings pick up), I wouldn’t think twice about it, but with out little composter out there in the back, I’m afraid it might get overwhelmed by so much dust.
A few people actually had the good idea to take the dust out of the bag before composting, leaving the bag for reuse. That sounds kinda messy to me, but it would probably help the dust get mixed in with the regular compost.
Sprinkling it in seems to make sense. That’s what we’ve been doing with the dust in the dust pan. Sprinkling it on the ornamental side garden, one dustpan at a time. Sure, there are probably some particles of rubber or plastic in there, but I figure the ratio is pretty watered down by “real dirt” that probably came from outside in the first place. However, if I was vacuuming carpet, I would be more worried about the synthetic particles I was picking up and less likely to put them in my compost.
So, my compost conclusion, going on the advice of these guys, these guys, and these guys, is that I’m going to go ahead a tipp’er in. I hereby volunteer my compost pile to be a dust test pilot and will let you know how it goes.