Composting Tip: What You Should and Shouldn't Put in Your Compost

Composting Tip: What you Should and Shouldn't Put in your Compost

This week we are going back to the basics of composting! Knowing what to put in your compost can be tricky and a bit frustrating so I've put together a comprehensive list of what your should and shouldn't put in your pile! Let's start with some basic rules:

1. If it comes from the dirt, it can go back in too! Organic materials like fruits, vegetables, and leaves are well suited for the compost pile.

2. If it comes from an animal, it should probably stay out of the compost. Animal products like meat and dairy don't have the same decomposition properties as organic materials and won't do well in the compost. The only exception to this is eggshells which can be crushed and added to your compost!

3. If it's oily, it should also probably stay out of the compost. Just like animal products, oils will slow the decomposition process. Excess oil in your compost can form water resistant barriers and impede the microorganisms from doing their job. 


What should and shouldn't go in the compost:

Good to go

  • Yard clippings (as long as they aren't treated with pesticides)
  • Fruits 
  • Vegetables
  • Sun & Swell bags
  • Manure
  • Sticks
  • Newspapers
  • Dead plants
  • Hair
  • Cardboard* 
  • Tea bags** 
  • Egg shells (make sure they are crushed up!)
  • Bread
  • Corks 
  • Dryer lint*** 

Probably not

  • Meat
  • Cow's milk
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Oils, or foods that have been cooked in oil
  • Bones
  • Pet droppings
  • Cat litter
  • Plants that have been treated with pesticides
  • Living plants (try to avoid things that can still germinate)

This list is far from complete so if you are unsure about putting something in the compost you can refer to the rules above, or email me directly at renata@sunandswellfoods!

Happy composting!

* Cardboard is compostable as long as it does not have a waxy finish.

** Some tea bags have a higher percentage of plastic content than others (which will prevent them from composting) so make sure to check the label before composting tea bags. Additionally make sure your tea bag does not have a metal staple holding it together.

*** Dryer lint is fully compostable as long as you have not used synthetic dryer sheets - the perfume and synthetic materials in these will alter the chemical makeup of your pile and slow down decomposition.

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