What You Can Put in a Compost Bin: The Essential Guide for Successful Composting

what you can put in a compost bin

Hey there, ever wondered what to do with all those kitchen scraps and yard waste? Well, I’ve got just the solution for you—compost bins! These magical containers are like the secret ingredient to a thriving garden. But what can you actually put in a compost bin? The answer might surprise you. Picture this: your kitchen filled with banana peels, coffee grounds, and eggshells.

Normally, you might toss them in the trash without a second thought. But wait! Instead of sending them to the landfill, toss them in a compost bin. It’s like a mini recycling center right in your own backyard.

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Now, you’re probably wondering what else can go in this magical bin. Well, the possibilities are endless. You can throw in your garden clippings, leaves, and even shredded newspaper.

Don’t forget those vegetable and fruit scraps, like apple cores and carrot peels. It’s all fair game for the compost bin! But here’s the kicker—the real magic happens when you mix the “greens” (fruit and vegetable scraps) with the “browns” (leaves, shredded newspaper). It’s like the perfect recipe for compost success.

Just think of it as a delicious blend of ingredients, each adding their own flavor to the mix. So, why bother with a compost bin in the first place? Well, not only does it reduce waste going to landfills, but it also creates nutrient-rich soil for your plants. It’s like giving your garden a boost of energy, helping your flowers and veggies thrive.

Plus, it’s an eco-friendly way to do your part for the planet. But don’t worry, composting doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as throwing your scraps into a bin and letting nature do its thing.


If you’re considering starting a compost bin, you may be wondering what you can actually put in it. Composting is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. The good news is, there are a wide variety of materials that can be composted.

Some of the common organic materials that can go in a compost bin include fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, eggshells, yard trimmings, and leaves. You can also add things like newspaper, cardboard, and shredded paper to provide carbon for the composting process. It’s important to avoid adding meat, dairy products, oily foods, and pet waste, as these can attract pests and may not break down properly in the compost.

By following these guidelines, you can create a successful compost bin that will benefit both the environment and your garden.

Why Compost?

compost, composting, benefits of composting, composting at home Introduction: Composting is an easy and effective way to reduce waste and transform kitchen scraps and garden waste into rich, nutrient-filled soil. It is a natural process that mimics the way organic matter decomposes in nature, and it offers numerous benefits for the environment and our gardens. By composting at home, we can divert organic waste from landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a valuable resource that helps improve soil quality and retain moisture.

In this blog post, we will explore the many reasons why composting is beneficial and why you should consider incorporating it into your daily life.

what you can put in a compost bin

What is a Compost Bin?

compost bin, introduction

What to Put in a Compost Bin

If you’re thinking about starting a compost bin, you might be wondering what exactly you can put in it. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can add to your compost pile. First and foremost, you can include fruit and vegetable scraps.

This includes things like banana peels, apple cores, and carrot tops. You can also add coffee grounds and tea bags, as well as eggshells. Other kitchen scraps that make great additions to your compost include bread, pasta, and rice.

Yard waste is another option, such as grass clippings, leaves, and small branches. Just be sure to avoid adding meat, dairy products, and oily foods, as they can attract pests. With the right mix of ingredients, your compost bin will be thriving in no time!

Green Compost Materials

compost bin, green compost materials

Brown Compost Materials

brown compost materials

Other Compostable Items

compostable items, compost bin When it comes to composting, most people think of fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and yard waste. However, there are many other items that can be added to your compost bin to create rich, nutrient-filled soil. One often overlooked category of compostable items is paper products.

This includes things like shredded newspaper, cardboard, paper plates, and paper towels. These items are all biodegradable and can be broken down by the microorganisms in your compost pile. Another surprising addition to your compost bin is hair and nail clippings.

These may seem like strange things to compost, but they are rich in nitrogen, which is a vital nutrient for plant growth. So the next time you get a haircut or trim your nails, don’t toss those clippings in the trash – add them to your compost bin instead! Finally, don’t forget about your green waste from houseplants. When you trim your indoor plants or clean up fallen leaves, throw them into your compost pile.

They’ll help add nutrients to your compost and ensure that nothing goes to waste. So next time you’re wondering what to put in your compost bin, remember to consider these often overlooked compostable items.

What Not to Put in a Compost Bin

Composting is a fantastic way to turn kitchen and garden waste into nutrient-rich soil for your plants. However, it’s important to know what can and can’t go into a compost bin. While it may be tempting to throw everything in there, certain items can actually slow down the composting process or even introduce harmful substances into your garden.

So what should you avoid putting in your compost bin? First and foremost, avoid meat and dairy products. These items can attract pests and can take a long time to break down. Similarly, oily or greasy foods should also be kept out, as they can create a smelly compost pile and attract rodents.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid putting any cooked foods in the compost bin, as they can contain oils and spices that are not beneficial to the composting process. Other items to avoid include pet waste, diseased plants, and any materials that are treated with chemicals, such as pressure-treated wood or pesticide-laden grass clippings. By avoiding these items and sticking to organic matter like fruit and vegetable scraps, leaves, and grass clippings, you can create a healthy and productive compost bin that will benefit your garden.

Meat and Dairy Products

compost bin, meat and dairy products In order to maintain a healthy and efficient compost bin, it is important to know what should and should not be put into it. While a variety of organic materials can be added to a compost bin, there are certain items that should be avoided, such as meat and dairy products. These types of items can be harmful to the composting process and can attract unwanted pests.

Meat and dairy products can take a long time to break down and can create unpleasant odors in the compost bin. Additionally, they can also introduce harmful bacteria into the compost, which can be detrimental to the final product. It is best to stick to plant-based materials, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and yard waste, which will create a nutrient-rich compost that is safe to use in your garden.

Fats and Oils

“compost bin, fats and oils, what not to put in a compost bin” One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to composting is putting fats and oils in their compost bins. While it may seem like a good idea to recycle these kitchen leftovers, it can actually have detrimental effects on the overall health of your compost. Fats and oils are not easily broken down by the natural processes of decomposition in a compost bin.

Instead of getting broken down into nutrient-rich compost, these substances can form a layer that prevents air and water from reaching the other organic materials in the bin. This can lead to anaerobic conditions, which are unfavorable for the decomposition process. Furthermore, when fats and oils are not broken down properly, they can attract pests and rodents to your compost bin.

These unwanted visitors can disrupt the balance of your compost and create unpleasant odors. Instead of adding fats and oils to your compost bin, it is better to dispose of them in a different manner, such as pouring them into a disposable container and throwing it in the trash. You can also reuse certain fats and oils for other purposes, such as cooking or crafting.

By avoiding the temptation to add fats and oils to your compost bin, you can ensure that your compost stays healthy, odor-free, and full of nutrients for your garden. So, next time you’re tempted to toss those leftovers into your compost bin, remember the importance of keeping fats and oils out and find a more appropriate way to dispose of them. Your compost (and your plants) will thank you!

Maintaining Your Compost Bin

When it comes to maintaining your compost bin, it’s important to know what you can and cannot put in it. Composting is a natural process that turns organic waste into nutrient-rich soil, so it’s essential to only add items that can break down easily. Some common items you can put in a compost bin include fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, yard and garden waste (like grass clippings and leaves), and even shredded newspaper or cardboard.

These materials provide the necessary carbon, nitrogen, and moisture needed for the decomposition process. However, it’s important to avoid adding meat, dairy products, oils, and fats, as these can attract pests and slow down the composting process. By being mindful of what you put in your compost bin, you can help create a healthy and productive environment for the decomposition of organic waste.

Turning and Mixing

“compost bin maintenance” Maintaining your compost bin is essential to ensure the success of your composting journey. One important aspect of maintenance is turning and mixing your compost regularly. By doing this, you promote the decomposition process and help create a well-balanced environment for the microorganisms that break down the organic matter.

Think of it as giving your compost a good stir, just like stirring a pot of soup to evenly distribute the ingredients. It allows oxygen to reach the microorganisms, which is crucial for their survival and the overall efficiency of the decomposition process. Turning and mixing also helps prevent the formation of compacted layers or pockets of air, which can slow down decomposition and create unpleasant odors.

So, make sure to grab a pitchfork or a compost turning tool and give your compost a good mix at least once a week. Your compost will thank you for it by transforming into rich, nutrient-packed humus that will benefit your garden or plants. Happy composting!

Moisture and Temperature

compost bin, maintaining, moisture, temperature, Maintaining your compost bin is crucial for ensuring the successful decomposition of organic waste. Two key factors to consider are moisture and temperature. Moisture is necessary for the microorganisms in the compost to thrive and break down the materials effectively.

The ideal moisture level for a compost bin is similar to that of a damp sponge – not too dry or too soggy. If the compost is too dry, you can add water to it, ensuring it is evenly distributed. On the other hand, if the compost is too wet, you may need to add dry materials like leaves or shredded paper to absorb excess moisture.

Temperature also plays a vital role in the composting process. The optimal temperature range for composting is between 120 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range allows the microorganisms to work efficiently and rapidly break down the organic matter.

If the compost pile is too cold, it may take longer for the materials to decompose. In this case, you can turn the compost or add more nitrogen-rich materials to increase the temperature. Conversely, if the temperature of the compost pile exceeds 160 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to mix in more carbon-rich materials or turn the pile to cool it down.

Regularly monitoring the moisture and temperature levels of your compost bin will ensure the ideal conditions for decomposition. Maintaining the right balance of moisture and temperature will not only speed up the composting process but also result in nutrient-rich compost that can be used to enrich your garden soil. So, keep an eye on the moisture content and temperature of your compost bin to achieve optimal composting success.

Using Your Compost

So, you’ve got a compost bin and you’re ready to start turning your kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil. But what exactly can you put in your compost bin? The good news is, you can compost a wide range of materials. The key is to have a good balance of green and brown materials.

Green materials are high in nitrogen and include things like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and grass clippings. Brown materials, on the other hand, are high in carbon and include items such as dried leaves, straw, and cardboard. It’s important to avoid putting meat, dairy products, and oily foods in your compost bin, as they can attract pests and take longer to break down.

By properly layering and mixing your compost materials, you’ll be well on your way to creating nutrient-rich compost for your garden.

When is the Compost Ready?

compost, using your compost, when is the compost ready

Tips for Using Compost in the Garden

When it comes to using compost in your garden, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First, make sure your compost is fully decomposed before using it. This will ensure that it is safe to use and won’t harm your plants.

You can tell if your compost is ready by its dark color and earthy smell. Next, spread a layer of compost on top of your soil. This will help improve the structure and fertility of your soil, as well as provide essential nutrients to your plants.

You can also mix compost into your planting holes or use it to topdress existing plants. Lastly, remember to water your compost thoroughly after applying it to your garden. This will help activate the nutrients and encourage their release into the soil.

So don’t let your hard work go to waste! Put that compost to good use and watch your garden thrive.


In conclusion, the possibilities of what you can put in a compost bin are as vast as the imagination itself. From fruit and vegetable scraps to coffee grounds and eggshells, there is a treasure trove of organic waste just waiting to be transformed into black gold. You can even add yard trimmings, leaves, and even shredded paper to the mix for extra composting goodness.

And let’s not forget about the occasional sprinkle of sass and wit, because a compost bin needs some personality, right? So go ahead and let your creativity run wild, because when it comes to composting, the sky’s the limit, and the results are anything but trashy!”


What can I put in a compost bin?
You can put various organic materials in a compost bin, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, yard waste (like leaves and grass clippings), and small amounts of paper and cardboard.

Can I put meat and dairy products in a compost bin?
It is not recommended to put meat and dairy products in a compost bin as they can attract pests and may not break down properly. Stick to plant-based materials for best results.

How long does it take for compost to be ready?
The time it takes for compost to be ready can vary, but on average it can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months. Factors like temperature, moisture, and the types of materials used can affect the decomposition process.

Can I compost yard waste like grass clippings?
Yes, grass clippings are great for composting. Just make sure to mix them with other materials like leaves or shredded paper to achieve a balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratio.

Are wood chips suitable for composting?
Yes, wood chips can be composted, but they break down slowly. It’s best to use them as a bulking agent in your compost pile or bin, along with other organic materials.

Can I compost weeds or plants that are diseased?
It’s generally recommended to avoid composting weed plants or plants with diseases, as the composting process may not kill the weed seeds or disease pathogens. It’s best to dispose of them in a different manner.

Is it okay to add tea bags to a compost bin?
Yes, tea bags can be composted as long as they are made of natural materials like paper or cotton. However, if the tea bags are made of synthetic materials like nylon, it’s best to remove the tea leaves and discard the bag separately.

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