16 Things You Can Compost

things you can compost
Composting is a great “green” thing to do for your garden. It provides organic nutrients for the soil, which could help it produce more.

You can compost leaves, grass clippings, fruits and vegetable peelings. But, these are not the only compostable items! The following are sixteen things you may not know are compostable.

1. Coffee grounds and filters

When you finish your last cup of coffee and clean out the filter to get your coffee maker ready for the next pot, keep your coffee grounds and filter. Toss them in a bowl or bucket to be taken to the compost pile the next time you go out there.

2. Tea bags

If you enjoy a cup or gallon of tea, you can also compost your tea bags.

3. Paper bags

Some grocery stores still give paper bags. Tear the bags up and add them to the compost pile.

4. Plain cooked pasta

Did you cook too much pasta but not enough for leftovers? Instead of tossing it out, add it to the bowl to be taken out and composted.

5. Stale bread

Let’s face it, stale bread does not taste good. You can break the bread up in smaller pieces and compost it instead.

6. Used paper goods

Used paper napkins, paper towels and paper plates (non-waxed) will easily decompose.

7. Stale pretzels, cereal and crackers

Like stale bread, these things simply are not appealing. Adding them to the compost pile, rather than tossing them, will at least be of benefit for the plants and you will not feel like you have totally wasted your money.

8. Pizza crusts

Some people simply do not like eating the pizza crust but throwing it away would be wasteful. Add this to the compost pile in the same way you do other bread or pasta.

9. Nutshells

Nutshells provide additional nutrients to the compost mixture. It is, however, important that you keep walnut shells out of the compost because the shells are toxic to plants.

10. Moldy cheese

Normally you would not compost meats and cheeses, but the fact this is moldy makes it all right.

11. Eggshells

Eggshells are a great addition to your compost pile if you wash them first. The reason you wash eggshells before adding them is that there may be salmonella on the outside of the egg, which would be transferred to your compost and could spread to your garden.

12. 100% cotton balls

‘Cotton balls’ made of other content than cotton should not be added to the compost pile because they most likely will not decompose.

13. Old loofah sponges

Loofah sponges are organic matter and therefore can be added with other items.

14. Dryer lint

If you wash and dry your clothes, you will have dryer lint. Instead of throwing it away, add it to the compost pile.

15. Old cotton clothing

Clothing, as long as it is 100% cotton, can be composted. It will compost better if it is torn or cut up into smaller pieces before adding it to the pile.

16. Shredded paper

It is possible to add shredded paper for composting, which will keep your personal information out of the landfill.


When thinking about things you can compost, you may not have known about these. These are not the only items, either. In fact, any organic material can be composted.

The things you will want to keep out of your compost pile include used cooking oil, diseased plant, treated wood shavings, milk products and any type of meat.


Published on: March 24, 2016

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