The Ultimate List of Surprising Items You Can Compost for a Greener World

What Can Be Composted? Here’s a Comprehensive List

Composting is an eco-friendly way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your garden. By recycling organic materials, you can make a positive impact on the environment while also benefiting your plants. But what exactly can be composted? In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a detailed list of compostable items that can help you get started on your own composting journey.

Fruit and Vegetable Scraps

One of the most common compostable items is fruit and vegetable scraps. From banana peels to carrot tops, these leftovers are rich in nutrients and should definitely go into your compost bin rather than the trash.

Coffee Grounds and Tea Bags

If you’re a coffee or tea lover, rejoice! Used coffee grounds and tea bags are excellent additions to your compost pile. These items add nitrogen to the mix, which helps speed up the decomposition process.


Eggshells contain calcium carbonate, making them ideal for enhancing soil quality. Crushed eggshells break down quickly in a compost heap, providing essential minerals for plant growth.

Nut Shells

Similarly to eggshells, nut shells like walnut or almond shells are great additions to your compost pile due to their high carbon content. Just ensure they’re crushed well before adding them!

Garden Waste

All those fallen leaves from autumn cleanup? Perfect for composting! Garden waste such as grass clippings, weeds (without seeds), small branches or twigs can all be added to create nutrient-dense humus.

Paper Products

Newspaper shreds, cardboard boxes (torn into small pieces), paper towels, and napkins can all be composted. However, avoid glossy or coated paper materials as they do not break down easily.

Wood Chips

If you have access to wood chips from pruning trees or sawdust from woodworking projects, they can enhance the structure and aeration of your compost pile. Just remember to mix them well with other organic materials.

Grains and Bread

Stale bread slices or leftover cooked rice are excellent sources of nitrogen in your compost bin. These items also add moisture and help maintain a balanced carbon-to-nitrogen ratio for optimal decomposition.

Pet Fur and Hair

If you’re a pet owner, don’t let the fur go to waste! Pet hair from grooming sessions is 100% natural material that breaks down easily in compost heaps. It’s an eco-friendly way to repurpose those furry leftovers!

The Don’ts: Items You Should Avoid Composting

While there are plenty of things that can be composted, certain items should never find their way into your compost bin:

Dairy Products

Avoid adding dairy products like milk or cheese into your compost pile. They tend to create unpleasant odors while attracting pests like rodents or flies.

Meat and Fish Bones

Bones take an extended period to decompose properly and may attract unwanted critters around your garden area if included in the mix.

Oily Foods

Fats, oils, greasy foods, including salad dressings or cooking oil residue should not be added as they hinder decomposition by creating clumps that suffocate beneficial bacteria.


Composting is a simple and efficient way to reduce waste while creating nutrient-rich soil. By following this comprehensive list of compostable items, you can ensure that your compost pile thrives and provides ideal conditions for optimal plant growth.

Remember, every small effort counts when it comes to protecting our planet. So start composting today and make a positive impact!