The Dos and Don’ts: Can You Compost Raw Meat? Expert Advice Revealed

Can You Compost Raw Meat: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our blog post where we delve into the intriguing question of whether you can compost raw meat. Composting is an excellent way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden, but what about protein-packed leftovers from your meals? Join us as we explore this topic in-depth and provide you with all the information you need.

The Basics of Composting

Before addressing the specific issue of composting raw meat, let’s briefly cover the basics. Composting is a natural process that transforms organic matter into nutrient-rich humus through decomposition. This organic material includes food scraps, yard waste, paper products, and more. By harnessing the power of bacteria and other microorganisms, composting creates a valuable resource for enriching soil quality.

The Benefits of Composting

Composting offers numerous benefits beyond reducing waste sent to landfills:

  • Nutrient-Rich Soil: The resulting compost adds vital nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to your soil.
  • Improved Water Retention: Healthy compost enhances soil structure and helps retain moisture for healthier plants.
  • Eco-Friendly Solution: By diverting organic waste from landfills, you contribute positively to environmental sustainability.

The Controversy Surrounding Raw Meat in Compost Bins

An ongoing debate exists within the gardening community regarding incorporating raw meat into compost piles or bins. Some believe it’s perfectly safe while others have concerns about potential risks. It’s important to consider both perspectives before making an informed decision on how best to handle this matter.

Potential Risks of Composting Raw Meat

Those who advise against composting raw meat argue that it can attract unwanted pests such as rodents, raccoons, and flies. These critters are attracted to the strong scent and high protein content of meat, which may disrupt the balance of your compost pile or bin. Furthermore, improper decomposition of raw meat could lead to unpleasant odors and potential pathogens thriving within your compost.

Proper Techniques for Composting Raw Meat

If you decide to proceed with composting raw meat despite the risks mentioned above, it’s crucial to follow proper techniques:

  1. Bury It Deep: Place the raw meat deep within your compost pile or bin where it is less likely to be detected by pests and animals.
  2. Avoid Overload: Ensure that you add a balanced mixture of carbon-rich material (such as leaves) alongside your scraps containing raw meats.
  3. Maintain Proper Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratio: Aim for a ratio between 25:1 and 30:1 in your compost mix. This helps promote efficient decomposition while minimizing odor issues.
  4. Turn Your Compost Regularly: By turning or stirring your compost regularly, you increase oxygen flow necessary for healthy decomposition while reducing any unpleasant smells.

The Safer Alternative: Bokashi Composting

If you have concerns about attracting pests or an unsavory smell from including raw meat in traditional compost bins/piles, consider exploring bokashi composting as an alternative method. Bokashi allows you to ferment kitchen waste (including all types of organic matter like meats) using beneficial microorganisms without causing any foul odors or pest problems. Research this technique further to determine if it aligns with your composting goals.


In conclusion, the choice of whether to compost raw meat ultimately rests on weighing the potential risks and benefits. While some gardeners opt for traditional methods, others find success using specialized techniques like bokashi composting. Remember to always practice responsible composting by carefully considering your unique circumstances and local regulations. Whichever path you choose, happy composting!