What Type of Things Can I Compost?

Do you know that there are many items that people throw in the trash that can be composted? Below is a list of most of the items you can compost. If you have just set up a new composter, or have been composting for some time now the items that you add are saved from the garbage and reused into the best soil for your garden (or indoor plants too).

What kinds of things can I add to a composter?  Keep these items out of the landfill where they wont decompose properly.

The best compost material is anything that will decompose and feed the soil. You want to try to get a good mix of browns and greens in your composter. When I started out I was just adding kitchen waste but soon found out if I wanted it to work I needed to add dead leaves to have a better mix. You also want to make sure you stir your compost regularly. This helps speed up the process.

So what do I add to my composter? I add all of these items, and have also included some that are compostable but that I do not have access to.


Fruit & vegetable waste

Rotten fruits and vegetables (canned and frozen too)

Condiments; like ketchup, salsa, spaghetti sauce

Moldy or stale bread

Raisins, dried fruit and nuts

Clippings from plants

Weeds that have NOT gone to seed


Coffee grounds & tea bags

Dryer lint

Newspaper (not glossy)

Thin paper plates

Tissues, napkins and paper towels (when not used with cleaners or meats)

Dry Leaves

Dry Grass clippings (however these are better left to compost on your lawn)

Dog hair (can also help keep pests away)

Sawdust & wood chips (I would use wood chips in the garden as mulch though)

Pet bedding (hamsters, rabbits, birds and the like) WET down if there is a large amount of shavings

A simple way to get greens and browns into your composter is to wrap up your fruit and vegetable waste in newspaper.  When I have a lot of it at once, for example peeling potatoes, I take full advantage of this trick.

What kind of stuff can I add to my composter? A very through list here.

Why should you take the time to compost all these items? Just remember all the benefits of composting and you will know you are making good use of your time.
If you want to find out more I would highly recommend checking out The Complete Compost Gardening Guide. It is full of information about composting. Many different styles of composting and harvesting your compost. I plan on harvesting mine this year. Once I have done it I will share about it here on my blog. Make sure you are getting my updates so you don’t miss it

Do you compost anything I missed? Make sure you share it in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “What Type of Things Can I Compost?

  1. My challenge has been keeping my compost pile moist enough in the midst of our third year of drought in Central California. I have a small lidded compost bucket on my kitchen counter and all the veggie scraps, teabags, and coffee grounds stopover there before I take them to the garden. – Fawn

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