Composting DO's and DON'Ts

Want to learn how to compost but confused as to what's appropriate to add and what's not?  Avoid adding items from the DON'T list, and start incorporating some of the items on this DO list. These items would otherwise end up in landfills, but by composting them you'll be able to return them to the soil in a useful form. Please also read:  Intro to Composting and How To Build a Compost Pile! 


Composting DON’Ts:

  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Gravy
  • Butter
  • Frying Oils
  • Moldy Bread
  • Dog or Cat Poop
  • Ashes from BBQ
  • Old or Diseased Plants
  • Wet Grass
  • Fish
  • Bones
  • Citrus Peels that Have Been Chemically Sprayed
  • Glossy Paper
  • Sticky Labels


Composting DO’s:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Freezer Burned Fruits or Veggies
  • Burlap Coffee Bags
  • Herbs
  • Non-wax Cardboard
  • Paper Bags
  • Cereal
  • Un-popped Popcorn
  • Alfalfa Hay
  • Peanut Shells
  • Cardboard Egg Containers
  • Old Luffa’s
  • Cotton Swabs with Cardboard Sticks (100% Cotton Only)
  • Spices
  • Spoiled Rice, Coconut, Soy and Almond Milk
  • Old Bills or Paper Mail
  • Dustpan Gatherings
  • Natural Potpourri
  • Wrapping Paper Rolls
  • Christmas Trees
  • Garland (Evergreen)
  • Feathers
  • Horse, Cow, Goat Manure
  • Stale Bread
  • Nut Shells
  • Coffee, Filters, Tea-Bags (If Made From Natural Products)
  • Rice
  • Paper
  • Napkins
  • Paper-towels
  • Grass Clippings
  • Wood Chips
  • Saw Dust (Not From Treated Wood)
  • Vacuum Cleaner Bag Contents
  • Dryer Lint
  • Pet Hair
  • Houseplant Trimmings

Composting is a great way to recycle unwanted items and trash by creating them into a nutrient rich soil...but think before you toss! When you add items from the list above, you'll create an unhealthy environment for your compost bin. You'll end up with a stinky, "over-heated" compost that will most likely even attract animals you don't want in your yard/garden. Plus, keeping toxic items out of the soil you plan on growing food in is always of importance!  Learn more: How To Build A Compost Pile

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