What Can You Put in Your Compost Bin for Earth-Friendly Gardening?

What Can You Put in Your Compost Bin: A Comprehensive Guide

Composting is an eco-friendly and sustainable way to reduce waste while creating nutrient-rich soil for your garden. Whether you’re a seasoned composter or just getting started, it’s essential to know what can and cannot be put in your compost bin. In this blog post, we’ll provide a detailed guide on the items that are suitable for composting.

Fruit and Vegetable Scraps

The kitchen is often the primary source of compostable materials. Almost all fruit and vegetable scraps can be added to your compost bin, including peels, cores, seeds, rinds, stalks, and even spoiled produce. Make sure to chop larger scraps into smaller pieces to speed up decomposition.

Coffee Grounds and Filters

If you are a coffee lover, rejoice! Coffee grounds not only add nitrogen to the compost pile but also help improve drainage. Additionally, used coffee filters made from unbleached paper can also be included in your organic waste.


Rinse out empty eggshells before adding them to your compost bin. They are rich in calcium and break down relatively quickly when crushed into small pieces.

Nut Shells

Most nut shells like walnut shells or pecan shells decompose slowly but can still be added as long as they are crushed finely beforehand.

Garden Trimmings

When tending to your garden or yard maintenance tasks such as pruning plants or mowing grass clippings – these green materials contain valuable nutrients needed by microorganisms thriving within the compost pile.

Use caution with grass clippings; excessive amounts may create a dense mass preventing airflow within the compost pile. To combat this, mix grass clippings with dryer materials like leaves or paper to maintain proper aeration.


Fallen leaves are a fantastic addition to your compost bin as they provide carbon-rich matter which helps balance the nitrogen-rich food scraps. Shredded leaves decompose faster and blend well in the composting process.

Newspaper and Cardboard

Newspapers and cardboard make excellent sources of brown material in your compost bin. Tear them into small pieces or shred them before adding, as it will help accelerate their breakdown.

Tea Bags

If you enjoy a cup of tea, don’t throw away those used tea bags! They can be added to your compost bin along with any loose-leaf tea remnants. Avoid using plastic-infused teabags; opt for fully biodegradable options instead.

Hair and Nail Clippings

Natural fibers such as hair and nails can be included in your compost pile too! So next time you get a haircut or trim your nails, consider tossing them into the bin rather than throwing them straight into the trash.

Avoid These Compost Bin No-Nos:

Meat and Fish Scraps

Avoid putting meat, fish scraps, bones or dairy products (such as cheese) into your regular backyard compost bin. These items break down slowly and tend to attract pests like rodents or raccoons.

Note: If you have access to hot-composting facilities that reach high temperatures (over 140°F), certain types of meat may be suitable for decomposition under controlled conditions.