"soil " from gutters...

Asked November 25, 2019, 5:47 PM EST

I've finally cleared my copper gutters after a few years... In addition to new leaves there is nice dark black stuff... good for compost or mulch?? Since it sat in copper gutters for a while and also has granules from shingles would this stuff be good to spread on my gardens and under shrubs?

Calvert County Maryland compost

1 Response

Hi- the muck from your cleaned-out gutters can be used as mulch around plants or added to compost piles.

The amount of copper that might be released from your gutters is minuscule and not a health risk for plants or animals.

There is not much research on the relative risks of contaminants released from intact composite or asphalt shingles and deposited in water or soil. Based on what we could find, we think the risks to plants and animals is quite low:
https://www.sightline.org/2015/01/07/a-green-light-for-using-rain-barrel-water-on-garden-edibles/
https://www.soils.org/discover-soils/soils-in-the-city/soil-contaminants
Jon