75 things you wouldn’t think to compost:

When it comes to composting most people simply think of kitchen scraps… However, the world of compost is much larger than orange peels and eggshells.

The following list is meant to get you thinking outside the box about your composting resources and is by no means a fully comprehensive list of compostable items. Not every item on the list is for everyone, and that is OK. With a little research and some trial and error, you can find hundreds if not thousands more items that can be added to this list. The main thing to remember is to think organically.

If it can be broken down in nature it can be composted. Imagine how much trash we could keep out of the landfills if each of us just decided to compost just a few household items.

From the Kitchen

  1. Used coffee grounds and filters (worms dig this stuff)
  2. Tea bags
  3. Paper napkins
  4. Pizza boxes, ripped into smaller pieces
  5. Paper bags, torn or shredded into small pieces
  6. Crumbs swept from the counter
  7. Leftover plain cooked pasta
  8. Leftover plain cooked rice
  9. Stale bread
  10. Used Paper towels
  11. Stale saltine crackers
  12. Stale cereal
  13. Used paper plates (as long as they don’t have a waxy coating)
  14. Cellophane bags (be sure it’s really Cellophane and not just clear plastic there IS a difference.)
  15. Nut shells (except for walnut shells as they can be toxic to plants)
  16. Old or expired herbs and spices
  17. Stale pretzels
  18. Pizza crusts
  19. Cereal boxes (tear them into smaller pieces first)
  20. Wine corks
  21. Moldy cheese
  22. Melted ice cream
  23. Old jam or preserves
  24. Stale beer and wine (these can attract slugs so be careful)
  25. Paper egg cartons (torn into small pieces)
  26. Toothpicks
  27. Bamboo skewers
  28. Paper muffin pan liners

From the Bathroom

  1. Used facial tissues
  2. Hair from your hairbrush
  3. Toilet paper rolls
  4. Old exfoliator’s and rags (only 100% cotton or bamboo and they must be shredded)
  5. Nail clippings
  6. Urine (this contains a high amount of nitrogen and is very good for compost)
  7. Cotton balls (100% cotton only)
  8. Cotton swabs (100% cotton with cardboard sticks)

Personal Items

(You may want to bury these items deep in your compost pile to keep prying eyes from
seeing your unmentionables)

  1. Cardboard tampon applicators
  2. Latex condoms From the Laundry Room
  3. Dryer lint
  4. Old/stained cotton clothing—ripped or cut it into small pieces
  5. Old wool clothing—ripped or cut it into small pieces

From the Office

  1. Any paper documents, bills, or junk mail that you have shredded into small pieces (make sure it is only matte paper, no plastic or glossy coating)
  2. Envelopes (be sure to cut out the plastic window)
  3. Pencil shavings
  4. Sticky notes
  5. Business cards (as long as they’re not glossy)
  6. Receipts

Around the House

  1. Dust and hair from your vacuum bag or bin
  2. Shredded newspaper
  3. Old subscription cards from magazines
  4. Trimmings from houseplants
  5. Dead houseplants and their soil
  6. Dead and dried flowers from floral arrangements
  7. Potpourri (only 100% natural potpourri)
  8. Spent matches
  9. Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pit

Party and holiday left overs

  1. Wrapping paper rolls
  2. Paper table cloths
  3. Crepe paper streamers
  4. Latex balloons
  5. Raffia ribbon
  6. Excelsior (wood wool)
  7. Old Jack o’ Lanterns
  8. Decorative Hay bales
  9. Real holiday wreaths
  10. Your Christmas tree. (be sure to cut it into smaller pieces or use a wood chipper- you can also find a ton of these after new year just lying around the street if you feel up to it you will have more than enough compostable materials from this alone.)
  11. Evergreen garlands

From Fido

  1. Shed fur and nail trimmings from grooming
  2. Droppings and bedding from your rabbit/gerbil/hamsters, etc.
  3. Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird cage
  4. Feathers
  5. Alfalfa hay or pellets
  6. Rawhide dog treats
  7. Fish food
  8. Dry dog or cat food

The longer that you compost, the more likely it will be for you to take a second look at anything that you are about to throw in the trash. “Can I compost this?” has become a frequent question in my house. And, as you can see, it’s surprising how often the answer is yes! When your compost is ready there is one thing you need to know before your start planting…