What to Put in a Compost Bin

Many people are allured by the idea of owning a compost bin and creating their own organic fertilizer out of their waste. However, one may be confused about what to put in the compost bin to maintain a healthy compost pile. The following is by no means all inclusive, however, it contains most of the items that you may put into your compost bin.

Items to Put in a Compost Bin

  1. Vegetable Waste (including uneaten leftovers, stems, cobs and peels)
  2. Fruit Waste (including uneaten leftovers, cores, peels and seeds)
  3. Egg Shells
  4. Garden Soil (this is sometimes added to accelerate decomposition and control odor)
  5. Lawn Clippings
  6. Weeds
  7. Livestock Manure (never put pet waste into a compost bin; it contains toxic elements)
  8. Coffee Grounds
  9. Used Tea Bags
  10. Leaves (dead or green)
  11. Newspaper
  12. Cardboard
  13. Hay or Straw
  14. Sawdust (the sawdust must be from untreated wood--no paint, lacquers, finishes, etc.).

Never add meat or dairy to your compost pile because these items do not decompose in the same manner as the aforementioned items. It is best to have a healthy mixture of items in your compost bin; a variety of substances ensures faster decomposition and more fertile soil.