Discover What Can Go Into a Compost Bin for Sustainable Gardening

What Can Go Into a Compost Bin

The Basics of Composting

Composting is an eco-friendly and sustainable way to recycle organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. It is a natural process that decomposes organic materials such as food scraps, yard waste, and other biodegradable items. However, not everything can be thrown into a compost bin without careful consideration. In this blog post, we will explore what can go into a compost bin to ensure successful decomposition.

Green Materials for Composting

Green materials are high in nitrogen and provide essential nutrients for the microorganisms responsible for breaking down organic matter in compost bins. Some common green materials suitable for composting include:

– Fruit and vegetable scraps
– Coffee grounds and filters
– Tea leaves and bags
– Fresh grass clippings (in moderation)
– Plant trimmings

Remember to cut or chop larger pieces of plant material into smaller parts to speed up the decomposition process.

Avoid These Green Materials:

While most green materials are suitable for composting, some should be avoided due to potential issues they may cause:

– Meat, fish, or dairy products: These items can attract pests or produce unpleasant odors.
– Diseased plants: Including diseased plants in your compost pile may spread pathogens when you use the finished product.

Brown Materials for Composting

Brown materials contain carbon and help create a well-balanced environment within your compost bin. They provide energy to microorganisms while also helping with moisture retention. Common brown materials that can be added to your compost bin include:

– Dry leaves (shredded if possible)
– Straw or hay
– Wood chips or sawdust (from untreated wood)

Ensure that brown materials make up around 50% of your overall composter volume.

What to Avoid in Brown Materials:

Just like with green materials, certain brown materials should be avoided:

– Glossy or colored paper: These papers may contain chemicals that can pollute your compost.
– Treated wood products: Wood preserved with chemicals or painted should not be added to a compost bin.

Other Compostable Items

In addition to green and brown materials, there are several other items you can add to enhance the composting process:

– Eggshells: Crushed eggshells provide calcium and help balance pH levels in the compost.
– Coffee filters (unbleached) and tea bags (without staples): These items break down easily and contribute organic matter.

Avoid Adding:

While many food-related items can go into a compost bin, some exceptions apply:

– Oily foods or greasy leftovers: These tend to attract pests and slow down decomposition.
– Large amounts of citrus peels: In moderation, they are fine; however, an excessive quantity may disrupt the acidity level of your compost pile.


Composting is an excellent way to reduce waste while creating nutrient-rich soil for gardening. By understanding what can go into a compost bin, you’ll ensure effective decomposition while avoiding potential issues such as odors or attracting pests. Remember the basics – include balanced amounts of green and brown materials alongside other suitable waste such as eggshells or coffee filters. With proper care and attention, your compost will transform into black gold that nourishes plants and supports a sustainable lifestyle.