What Kinds of Items Can Go in a Compost Bin: A Quick Guide to Composting

what kinds of items can go in a compost bin

Have you ever wondered what to do with those food scraps or yard waste that you find piling up? Instead of throwing them away, why not consider composting? Composting is a great way to reduce waste and help the environment. It’s a process that turns organic materials, such as kitchen scraps and yard trimmings, into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. But what exactly can you compost? Well, the list is surprisingly long! From fruits and vegetables to coffee grounds and eggshells, there are plenty of items that can be composted.

In this blog, we’ll explore a wide range of materials that can be added to your compost pile, and provide some tips for successful composting. So, if you’re ready to start reducing waste and creating nutrient-rich soil, keep reading to find out what you can compost!

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Organic Kitchen Waste

When it comes to composting, the question of what can and can’t go in a compost bin often comes up. The good news is that many kitchen waste items can safely be added to your compost pile. Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, and eggshells are all great additions to your compost bin.

These organic materials can break down and provide valuable nutrients to your soil. However, there are some items that should be avoided. Meat, dairy products, and oils can attract pests and take longer to decompose.

Additionally, avoid adding any yard waste that has been treated with pesticides or herbicides. By being mindful of what you add to your compost bin, you can create nutrient-rich soil for your garden while reducing waste. So go ahead and start composting those kitchen scraps – your garden will thank you!

Fruit and vegetable peelings

“Fruit and vegetable peelings” Secondary keywords: – organic kitchen waste – composting – gardening Organic kitchen waste, including fruit and vegetable peelings, can be a valuable resource for your garden. Instead of throwing away those potato skins or banana peels, why not turn them into nutrient-rich compost? Composting is a natural process that breaks down organic materials, such as food scraps and yard waste, into a soil-like substance that can be used to improve the health of your plants. Not only does composting reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, but it also helps to enrich the soil and promote the growth of strong, healthy plants.

So, the next time you’re preparing a meal, think twice before tossing those peelings in the trash. Instead, collect them in a compost bin or pile and let nature do its work. Before you know it, you’ll have a rich, dark compost that will help your garden thrive.

So, why not give it a try and see the difference it can make in your garden? Your plants will thank you!

what kinds of items can go in a compost bin

Coffee grounds and filters

Coffee grounds and filters are two common kitchen waste items that can be repurposed for a variety of uses. Coffee grounds, for example, can be added to compost bins or used directly as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. Their high nitrogen content can help improve the soil’s fertility and promote healthy plant growth.

Additionally, coffee grounds can be used as a natural pest deterrent, as they can repel slugs and snails. Filters, on the other hand, can also be added to compost bins as they are biodegradable. They can help retain moisture in the compost pile and prevent it from drying out too quickly.

Filters can also be used to clean dirty kitchen utensils, as they can effectively remove grease and residue. So instead of throwing away coffee grounds and filters, consider giving them a second life in your garden or kitchen. By doing so, you can reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Tea bags and leaves

“Tea bags and leaves” is an excellent source of organic kitchen waste that can be easily composted. When we brew a cup of tea, we usually just throw away the used tea bag or put the tea leaves in the trash. But did you know that these humble tea remnants can actually be repurposed to create nutrient-rich compost for our gardens? Tea bags and leaves contain a variety of organic matter, including plant fibers, nutrients, and trace minerals.

When we add them to our compost pile, they break down over time, providing a valuable source of organic material for our plants. The decomposition process releases nutrients into the soil, which helps to promote healthy and robust plant growth. Composting tea bags and leaves is a simple process.

First, make sure to remove any staples or strings from the tea bags, as these may not break down easily. Then, add the tea bags or leaves to your compost bin or pile. It’s a good idea to mix them in with other kitchen waste, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, to create a balanced compost mixture.

Remember to keep your organic kitchen waste compost moist and turn it regularly to provide oxygen to the microorganisms responsible for decomposing the material. In a few months, you will have nutrient-rich compost that can be used to nourish your plants. So next time you make yourself a cup of tea, don’t toss those tea bags or leaves in the trash.

Instead, give them a second life by composting them. Not only will you be reducing waste, but you’ll also be creating a valuable resource for your garden. It’s a win-win situation for both you and the environment.

Happy composting!


Eggshells are often overlooked in the kitchen waste bin, but did you know that they can be a valuable addition to your organic waste? While most people might think of eggshells as just something to toss in the trash, they actually have several uses that can benefit both your garden and your health. One of the most common uses for eggshells is in composting. Eggshells are rich in calcium, which is a vital nutrient for plants.

By adding crushed eggshells to your compost pile, you can help replenish the soil with this important mineral. The calcium in the eggshells also helps to balance the pH levels of your compost, creating a healthy environment for microorganisms to break down the organic matter. Another benefit of using eggshells in your compost is that they act as a natural deterrent for pests such as slugs and snails.

These critters don’t like the sharp edges of the crushed eggshells and will avoid crawling over them. This can help protect your delicate plants from being eaten and ensure that your garden thrives. But composting isn’t the only way to put eggshells to good use in the kitchen.

You can also crush them up and use them as a calcium supplement in your diet. Just grind the eggshells into a fine powder and add a small amount to your favorite smoothies, juices, or even baked goods. Not only will you be getting a boost of calcium, but you’ll also be reducing food waste and doing something good for the planet.

So next time you crack open an egg, think twice before tossing those shells into the trash. Instead, consider how you can put them to good use in your garden or in your own diet. Eggshells may seem like a small thing, but they have the potential to make a big impact on reducing waste and promoting a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

Yard Waste

If you’re thinking of starting a compost bin in your yard, you may be wondering what kinds of items can go into it. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can compost! Most fruit and vegetable scraps, such as apple cores, banana peels, and cucumber ends, can be tossed into your compost bin. Coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, and eggshells are also compostable.

Yard waste, such as grass clippings and leaves, can be added as well. Just make sure to avoid adding any meat or dairy products, as they can attract pests and create odors. By adding these compostable items to your bin, you’ll not only reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill but also create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

So why not give composting a try and do your part for the environment?

Grass clippings

In our quest for a beautiful and well-maintained yard, we often find ourselves confronted with the issue of yard waste. And one of the biggest culprits? Grass clippings. These tiny pieces of grass seem harmless enough, but when left on the lawn, they can cause all sorts of problems.

Not only do they make your lawn look messy and unkempt, but they can also suffocate the grass underneath, preventing it from getting the sunlight and nutrients it needs to thrive. Plus, if you leave the clippings on the lawn and it rains, the clippings can create a slimy layer that becomes a breeding ground for fungi and other pests. So what should you do with all those grass clippings? Well, one option is to collect them and use them for compost.

By composting your grass clippings, you not only keep them out of the landfill, but you also create a rich and nutrient-dense fertilizer that can be used in your garden. Simply pile up your clippings in a compost bin, making sure to mix in some other organic materials like leaves or food scraps to create a balanced compost. Over time, the clippings will break down and turn into a dark, crumbly substance that can be added to your soil.

Another option is to use a mulching mower. These mowers have a special deck that minces the grass clippings into tiny pieces and redistributes them back onto the lawn. This not only eliminates the need for collecting and bagging the clippings, but it also provides a valuable source of nutrients for your lawn.

The mulched clippings act as a natural fertilizer, returning nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. So the next time you mow your lawn, don’t just leave those grass clippings behind. Instead, consider composting them or using a mulching mower to give your lawn a natural boost.

Your lawn will thank you, and you’ll be doing your part to reduce waste and create a more sustainable yard.


yard waste, leaves

Flowers and plants

yard waste, compost, flowers, plants, organic matter, nutrients Yard waste can be a valuable resource when it comes to nourishing our flowers and plants. Instead of throwing away grass clippings, fallen leaves, and other organic matter, we can turn them into nutrient-rich compost. Composting is a natural process where microorganisms break down yard waste and turn it into a dark, crumbly material that is perfect for feeding our plants.

When we add compost to our garden beds or mix it into potting soil, we are providing essential nutrients and improving the soil structure. This means healthier plants with stronger roots and better resistance to pests and diseases. Plus, composting our yard waste helps reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

So, the next time you’re doing some yard work, think twice before tossing that pile of leaves into the trash. Instead, consider turning it into compost and giving your flowers and plants the natural boost they deserve.

Pruned branches and twigs

yard waste, pruned branches, twigs

Paper Products

One of the most common items that can be thrown in a compost bin is paper products. This includes things like newspaper, cardboard, paper towels, and shredded paper. These items are all made from organic materials and will break down quickly in a compost pile.

When adding paper products to your compost bin, it’s important to tear them into smaller pieces to help speed up the decomposition process. The fibers in paper can also help to add carbon to your compost, which is essential for creating a healthy and balanced compost mixture. So, next time you’re cleaning up around the house, don’t throw away that pile of newspapers or cardboard boxes – toss them in your compost bin instead!

Newspaper and shredded paper

paper products, newspaper, shredded paper Are you overwhelmed with piles of old newspapers and shredded paper taking up space in your home? Well, don’t fret, because these paper products can actually be quite useful in various ways. Recycling newspaper and shredded paper is a great way to reduce waste and help the environment. Did you know that newspaper can be recycled into new paper products? When you recycle newspaper, it is collected and sent to a recycling facility where it is broken down into pulp.

This pulp is then used to make new newspapers, as well as other paper products such as paper towels, tissue paper, and even cardboard. By recycling newspaper, you are not only preserving trees but also reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a win-win! But what about shredded paper? Is it recyclable too? The answer is yes! Shredded paper can also be recycled, just like newspaper.

However, it is important to note that not all recycling programs accept shredded paper, as the small pieces can become tangled in recycling machinery. To ensure that your shredded paper is recycled properly, check with your local recycling facility or municipality for guidelines on how to recycle it. In some cases, you may need to bag the shredded paper separately or take it to a specialized shredding facility.

Recycling shredded paper is a great way to give it a second life and prevent it from ending up in a landfill. If recycling is not an option for your newspaper or shredded paper, there are still other ways you can put them to good use. For example, you can use newspaper as padding or filler when packaging fragile items.

It can also be used as mulch in your garden to help retain moisture and suppress weed growth. Shredded paper, on the other hand, can be used for crafting projects or even as animal bedding. Small animals such as hamsters or rabbits will appreciate the softness and comfort that shredded paper provides in their cages.

So, the next time you find yourself drowning in a sea of newspaper or shredded paper, don’t just toss them in the trash. Consider recycling them or finding alternative uses for these paper products. By doing so, you’ll be doing your part to reduce waste, conserve resources, and help the planet.


cardboard packaging, paper products, sustainability

Paper towels and napkins

Paper towels and napkins are essential items in every household. They serve various purposes and are designed for convenience. Whether it’s wiping spills in the kitchen or cleaning fingers during a meal, these paper products come in handy.

One of the main benefits of using paper towels and napkins is their disposability. Unlike cloth towels or napkins, they can be easily thrown away after use, eliminating the need for laundry and saving time and effort. Moreover, paper towels and napkins are highly absorbent, making them perfect for soaking up liquid spills and grease.

Their soft texture ensures gentle and effective cleaning without leaving residue or lint behind. Additionally, paper towels are extremely versatile and can be used for other household tasks like dusting, drying dishes, or even as makeshift coasters. With their convenience, absorbency, and versatility, paper towels and napkins have become a staple in every home.

Other Items

Composting is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. When it comes to choosing what items can go in a compost bin, there are many options to consider. Most people know that fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells are great additions to compost.

But did you know that you can also add things like shredded newspaper, cardboard, and even hair? Yard waste such as grass clippings, leaves, and small branches can also be composted. It’s important to avoid adding meat, dairy, or oily items, as these can attract pests and take longer to break down. By using a diverse range of materials in your compost bin, you’ll create a balanced mix that will decompose efficiently and provide the nutrients your plants need to thrive.

Wood ashes

wood ashes, other items

Hair and fur

In addition to hair and fur, there are other items that can be found on our bodies that serve important purposes. One such item is eyelashes. While they may seem insignificant at first glance, eyelashes play a vital role in protecting our eyes from debris and foreign particles.

They act as a barrier, preventing dust, dirt, and other irritants from entering our eyes and causing potential damage. Think of them as tiny guardians of our vision. Without eyelashes, our eyes would be much more vulnerable to irritation and infection.

So next time you give your lashes a little flutter, remember how they are working hard to keep your eyes happy and healthy.

Dryer lint

dryer lint Dryer lint isn’t just a nuisance that collects in the filter of your dryer. It can actually have many other uses around the house! One unexpected way to repurpose dryer lint is by using it as a fire starter. The lint is highly flammable and can be packed into a small container, like an empty egg carton, and used to easily start a fire in your fireplace or campfire.

Another surprising use for dryer lint is as a gardening aid. The lint can be mixed with soil to improve its water retention and drainage, making it a great addition to potting mixes or garden beds. Additionally, dryer lint can be used to make homemade paper.

By blending the lint with water and other materials like shredded paper or flower petals, you can create unique and eco-friendly paper that can be used for crafts or notes. So the next time you clean out your dryer’s lint filter, don’t just throw it away. Get creative and find new ways to reuse this often-overlooked item!

Used potting soil

used potting soil, repurposing, sustainability, gardeners In the world of gardening, sustainability and finding new ways to reduce waste are becoming increasingly important. One item that often gets overlooked when it comes to repurposing is used potting soil. Many gardeners simply throw it away after a single use, not realizing that it still has plenty of life left in it.

But with a little creativity and ingenuity, used potting soil can be repurposed in a variety of ways. One way to reuse used potting soil is by mixing it with fresh soil to create a nutrient-rich blend. This is especially useful for plants that require a lot of nutrients, such as vegetables or flowers.

By mixing in the used potting soil, you can add a boost of nutrients without having to rely on chemical fertilizers. Plus, it’s a great way to stretch your gardening budget! Another option for repurposing used potting soil is to create a compost pile. Composting is a natural process that breaks down organic materials, turning them into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

By adding your used potting soil to a compost pile, you are not only reducing waste but also creating a valuable resource for your garden. Just make sure to mix it in with other compostable materials, such as kitchen scraps and yard waste, to create a balanced compost pile. Used potting soil can also be used as a mulch in your garden bed.

By spreading a layer of the soil on top of your garden bed, you can help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Plus, as the used potting soil breaks down, it will continue to release nutrients into the soil, providing a slow and steady source of nutrition for your plants. So, the next time you’re getting ready to throw away your used potting soil, think again! There are plenty of ways to repurpose it and reduce waste in your garden.

Whether you mix it with fresh soil, create a compost pile, or use it as mulch, you’ll be doing your part to create a sustainable garden. Plus, you’ll save money in the process. So, don’t let that used potting soil go to waste – give it a new lease on life in your garden!


In conclusion, a compost bin is like a magic box where you can toss in all sorts of exciting goodies. Think of it as a culinary adventure for your scraps! From the usual suspects like fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells, to the more unconventional guests like shredded newspaper, dryer lint, and even hair clippings, the sky’s the limit! Just remember, no meat or dairy products, as they are the compost equivalent of party crashers. So go forth and let the compost bin become your culinary sidekick, transforming your trash into nutrient-rich gold for your garden.

Happy composting!”


FAQ 1. What kinds of items can go in a compost bin? Answer: Many types of organic materials can be composted. This includes fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, yard waste (such as grass clippings and leaves), and even small amounts of cardboard and newspaper. It’s important to avoid adding meat, dairy, and oily foods to your compost bin, as these can attract pests and slow down the composting process. FAQ 2. Can I compost paper towels and napkins? Answer: Yes, you can compost paper towels and napkins as long as they are free from any chemicals or non-compostable contaminants, such as plastic or metal. Paper towels and napkins made from recycled materials are generally safe to compost. Just make sure you tear them into smaller pieces to help speed up the composting process. FAQ 3. Can I compost citrus peels? Answer: Yes, citrus peels can be composted. However, they should be added in moderation as they can be acidic and slow down the decomposition process. If you have a large quantity of citrus peels, it’s best to chop them into smaller pieces or mix them with other compostable materials to maintain a balanced pH level in your compost bin. FAQ 4. Are coffee grounds good for composting? Answer: Yes, coffee grounds are an excellent addition to the compost bin. They are rich in nitrogen and add valuable organic matter to the compost pile. Coffee filters made from unbleached paper can also be composted. Just be sure to avoid adding large amounts of coffee grounds at once, as they can create a dense layer that hinders air circulation. FAQ 5. Can I compost weeds? Answer: Yes, you can compost weeds, but it’s important to take precautions to prevent them from reseeding or spreading in your compost. Make sure to remove any flower heads or seeds before adding weeds to your compost bin. Additionally, avoid composting weeds that have gone to seed or perennial weeds that can regrow from small root fragments. FAQ 6. Can I compost pet waste? Answer: It is generally not recommended to compost pet waste in a home compost bin. Animal feces, including those from dogs and cats, can contain harmful pathogens and parasites that may survive the composting process and pose a health risk. If you want to compost pet waste, look for specialized composting systems designed for this purpose. FAQ 7. Can I compost wood ash? Answer: Yes, wood ash can be composted in small quantities. Wood ash contains potassium, calcium, and other trace elements that can be beneficial for plants. However, it is important to use wood ash in moderation, as excessive amounts can raise the pH of the compost and negatively affect plant growth. Avoid adding ash from coal or charcoal, as these can contain harmful substances.

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