What Can Go Into Compost – A Comprehensive List for Effective Gardening!

What Can Go Into Compost: A Comprehensive Guide to Organic Waste Recycling


Composting is a simple yet effective way to recycle organic waste and nourish your garden or plants. By transforming kitchen scraps, yard trimmings, and other biodegradable materials into nutrient-rich soil, you can contribute to a healthier environment while reducing landfill waste. In this blog post, we will explore the wide range of items that can be safely added to your compost pile.

Kitchen Scraps

Being mindful of what goes into your compost bin is crucial for successful composting. Kitchen scraps are an excellent source of organic matter rich in nitrogen and moisture content. Here are some common kitchen waste items that can go into compost:

Fruit and Vegetable Scraps:

Peels from fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, or lettuce leaves are great additions to your compost pile.

Coffee Grounds:

Used coffee grounds contain essential nutrients like nitrogen which helps speed up decomposition in the compost pile.


Crushed eggshells add calcium to the mixture while also helping balance acidity levels.

Nut Shells:

Shredded nut shells like walnut or pistachio shells can be included but should be broken down into smaller pieces for faster decomposition.

Garden Trimmings

When tidying up your garden or maintaining outdoor spaces, various plant materials can contribute tremendously towards enriching your compost heap:

Grass Clippings:

Freshly cut grass provides nitrogen-rich green material; however it should be layered thinly in order to prevent clumping within the pile.


Fallen leaves, especially when shredded or mulched, offer an excellent source of carbon-rich browns that help balance the nitrogen content in compost.

Prunings and Weeds:

Small branches, twigs, and weeds devoid of seeds can be included in your compost pile. However, avoid adding weed species with mature seed heads to prevent their spread during compost application.

Paper Products

While it’s crucial to recycle paper products through dedicated channels whenever possible, certain uncoated papers can safely go into your compost bin:


Shredded newspaper acts as a good source of carbon; however colored or glossy pages should be avoided due to potential chemical contamination.

Cardboard and Paperboards:

Torn cardboard boxes or paperboard containers make great additions when cut into smaller pieces.

Miscellaneous Items

Here are some miscellaneous items that you may not typically associate with composting but can be beneficial for decomposition:

Cotton and Wool Fabric Scraps:

Natural fibers from old clothing made of cotton or wool are biodegradable materials suitable for composting. Cut them into smaller pieces before adding them to the pile.

Sawdust and Wood Chips:

Untreated sawdust from carpentry projects or wood chips can be used sparingly in your compost heap. However, keep in mind that they contain high levels of carbon.

Items to Avoid

To maintain a healthy balance within your composter and avoid any issues during decomposition processes, here are some items you should avoid adding:

Meat and Dairy Products:

These products can attract pests, create unpleasant odors, and slow down the composting process.

Oily Foods:

Oils and greasy food waste can disrupt the decomposition balance in your compost pile.

Pet Waste:

Pet feces may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can survive the composting process. It is best to dispose of pet waste separately.


Composting is a wonderful way to reduce waste while producing nutrient-rich soil for your garden. By understanding what can go into your compost pile, you have the power to recycle a wide range of organic materials effectively. Remember to maintain a proper balance between carbon-rich browns and nitrogen-rich greens for optimal results. So start composting today – it’s an eco-friendly decision that benefits both you and the environment!