The Crazy Things You Can Compost


Wowza – you’ve probably got a bunch of this stuff hanging around your house. Once used, it can be composted into soil amendment! 

Composting MaterialsTop 5 Tips for the Best Compost Mix

  1. You can compost almost anything but meat, cheese and fatty/greasy foods.
  2. There are Brown (carbon-rich) materials and Green (nitrogen-rich) materials. You need both for the compost to work well. An easy way to approach it is to add a bit more brown than green. 
  3. If your pile stinks, add more brown and make sure there’s airflow to let oxygen in. 
  4. The smaller the pieces, the faster the compost!
  5. Layer the browns and greens, add water to make the pile as wet as a wrung out sponge and turn every week.

Throw these items in the compost!

  • Bamboo skewers Β
  • Bills and other documents you’ve shredded – no one will pick through your compost pile! Β
  • Bread B
  • Business cards (as long as they’re not glossy) Β
  • Cereal B
  • Cereal boxes – tear them up Β 
  • Coffee grounds N and filters Β
  • Contents of your vacuum cleaner bag or canister Β
  • Cotton balls and swabs made from 100% cotton (no plastic sticks) Β
  • Crackers B
  • Crepe paper streamers Β
  • Crumbs
  • Dead houseplants and their soil Β
  • Dry dog or cat food Β
  • Dog hair G (break up clumps)
  • Dryer lint Β
  • Envelopes (minus the plastic window) Β
  • Evergreen garlands G
  • Fish food G
  • Flowers from floral arrangements G
  • Fruit scraps G
  • Fur from the dog or cat brush G
  • Grass (dried brown) B
  • Grass (fresh) G
  • Hair from your hairbrush Comedy in Composting™ (Follow this link for a cartoon  G (Break up clumps and scatter)
  • Hay bales you used as part of your outdoor fall decor B
  • Jack o’ Lanterns G
  • Leaves (dried) B
  • Leaves trimmed from houseplants G
  • Manure (Cow, sheep, chicken, rabbit, horse) G
  • Nail clippings G
  • Natural holiday wreaths G
  • Natural potpourri B
  • Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird cage G
  • Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces – not the glossy full colored pages) B
  • Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which can be toxic to plants) B
  • Old herbs and spices B
  • Old jelly, jam, or preserves G
  • Old loofahs B
  • Old wool clothing—rip or cut it into smaller pieces B
  • Old/stained cotton clothing—rip or cut it into smaller pieces – Yes, you know who you are – just get rid of it already! B
  • Paper bags, either ripped or balled up B
  • Paper cupcake or muffin cups B
  • Paper egg cartons B
  • Paper table cloths B
  • Paper towel rolls B
  • Pencil shavings B
  • Pizza boxes, ripped into smaller pieces B
  • Pizza crusts B
  • Plain cooked pasta B
  • Plain cooked rice B
  • Pretzels B
  • Raffia B
  • Receipts – QUICK, get rid of that receipt. You go to the coffee place way too much! B
  • Sticky notes B
  • Subscription cards from magazines B
  • Tea G Bags B
  • Toilet paper rolls B
  • Toothpicks B
  • Used facial tissues B
  • Used matches B
  • Used paper napkins B
  • Used paper plates (not the waxy ones) B
  • Vegetable scraps G
  • Wine corks B
  • Wrapping paper rolls B

More Home Grown Fun For You!

2 Comments

  1. Meats, eggs, cheese, oils, etc. can be composted. In the past I have composted entire cows that died from illness in the pasture. I successfully add meats to my garden pile from leftovers with no issues, including odor. As long as one keeps the carbon ratio right the sky is the limit. The only downside is it has a better chance of attracting wildlife, if the raccoons and the like are thick it may be a problem. I live in rural Oklahoma and deal with a pest issue once a year, maybe.

    • In Maine, they compost loads of deer in giant heaps. I don’t think I can get my pile hot enough but like you say, with enough carbon, you can get it done! Thanks for the meaty testimonial!

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