Left: Before composting. Right: Cup after composting.

Left: Before composting. Right: Cup at second turn.

Since we started composting this summer, I couldn’t resist the challenge when my drink from Kaladi Brothers Coffee came in a compostable to-go cup made from corn.

I built the cup into the middle of my next pile, then turned as directed. The temperature spiked at 160 degrees (which is almost too hot) and by the second turn of the pile the cup had mostly disintegrated (photo at top right). When I moved the now-cured compost this afternoon the cup was completely gone.

It looks like Kaladi’s uses EcoProducts corn cups (EcoProducts CC16, according to the stamp on the bottom) which the company says “will completely compost under commercial composting conditions in just 45-60 days.”

The cups work as advertised but I do wonder how many of these cups ever find their way to compost piles, either commercial or residential. A more interesting question might be what happens to them in a traditional landfill.