99 Things You Probably Didn't Know You Can Compost

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Anybody that has a composting bin or compost pile at their house knows that old apple cores, banana peels and potato skins can be composted. But many people who compost at home are unaware of the sheer vastness of every day waste that can easily be thrown in their compost bin.

For example, did you know that you can compost an old tea bag? Old spices? Pencil shavings? How about sticky notes? Yes, each of those items can be composted!

In fact, there are many items that you can compost, and the following list will get you started with the first ninety-nine. And the best news? If everyone began to compost at home on a regular basis, the world’s landfills would be drastically reduced.

If you are composting for an organic garden use organic starting materials. Some of the items below I would not recommend for organic gardens. For clarity, I will specify those items below.

The Basics:

  1. All organic vegetable and fruit matter including rinds, skins, shells, seeds, cores and peels
  2. Old leaves & hay
  3. Used coffee grounds
  4. Paper coffee filters
  5. Grass clippings
  6. Egg shells

Unique Every Day Items

  1. Tea bags
  2. Peat moss
  3. Tree bark
  4. Old flowers
  5. Garden soil
  6. Old top soil
  7. Old bread
  8. Wheat bran
  9. Cooked grains
  10. Olive pits
  11. Pencil shavings
  12. Dust bunnies
  13. Toothpicks
  14. Business cards (Paper)
  15. Natural wine corks
  16. Toilet paper rolls
  17. Wrapping paper rolls
  18. Old loose leaf tea leaves
  19. Dried brown garden weeds (avoid composting weeds that go to seed)
  20. Spices and herbs that have lost their smell
  21. Nut shells (except walnut shells, which contain a chemical that can be toxic to plants)
  22. Wood chips and sawdust
  23. Soy products
  24. Wine and beer-making wastes
  25. Old dry cereals, crackers, chips, cookies, etc.
  26. 100% cotton swabs and Q-tips (do not compost plastic sticks)
  27. Wood fire ashes from grill or fire-place (also from smoking fish and other meats)
  28. Dirt in soles of shoes
  29. Facial tissues (unless soiled with chemical products)
  30. Old milk, ice cream, cream, etc. (in limited amounts)
  31. 100% cotton clothing (ripped into small pieces)
  32. 100% wool clothing (ripped into small pieces)
  33. Raffia decorations
  34. Crepe paper streamers

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