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40+ Things You Can Compost


40+ things you can compost

Things you can compost

Composting is more than just a natural and free fertilizer for your garden. To truly reduce waste, (more than food waste), is  a sustainable necessity. Depending on household, composting can remove 20-50% from your household waste, which helps reduce the amount of waste in landfill, and acts as a natural supplement to plants, trees, lawn, and your garden. Even if you compost via curbside pickup, you are still making an impact on what goes into landfill, and what doesn’t.


When food and any organic matter ends up in landfill, it decomposes anaerobically, which means without oxygen. During this process, a greenhouse gas – methane, is produced. Methane is 20-35 time more potent that carbon dioxide at warming our planet. United States Landfills are the United States’ 3rd largest source of methane gas, according to the EPA.


We can compost more than just food waste – this will help eliminate the amount of methane produced by unnecessary waste in landfills.


Rule of thumb – anything that once lived or was made from a living thing, can be composted. If it’s made with natural items, or ingredients, it will eventually break down.


  1. Wooden toothpicks

  2. Bamboo skewers

  3. Wooden and bamboo chopsticks

  4. Burnt popcorn kernels (yaknow, the ones that didn’t quite pop)

  5. Nut shells – excluding walnut shells – these are toxic to plants

  6. Paper plates & cups – only the ones without the wax coatings

  7. Cardboard boxes – like cereal, pasta, plastic bag boxes – make sure to remove plastic windows if any

  8. Old spices and herbs

  9. Any stale food: pretzels, cereal, crackers, chips, bread, pita bread

  10. Paper bags – Recommend shredding these

  11. Paper Towel rolls – recommend shredding these too

  12. Used Paper towels or napkins

  13. Seeds and pits: pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, avocado pits – try to chop these up so they don’t sprout

  14. Cardboard egg cartons – also recommend cutting or shredding these

  15. Moldy cheese

  16. Vegetable scraps & peels

  17. Egg shells – crush these

  18. Coffee grounds AND Coffee filters

  19. Spoiled milk – dairy or nut works

  20. Old jelly, jam, marmalade, or preserves

  21. Stale or old Beer and wine – pour on top of pile

  22. Wine corks – chop up

  23. Crusts off bread or pizza

  24. Really, any type of food

  25. Nail clippings, from you or your animal – make sure it’s unpolished

  26. Toilet paper rolls – shred these

  27. Hair from your drain or hairbrush – your animals hair works too

  28. 100% cotton balls or cotton rounds

  29. Cotton swabs made with 100% cotton and cardboard

  30. Pencil shavings

  31. Paper with no gloss – shredded: business cards, bills, sticky notes, envelopes – make sure there are no plastic windows

  32. Dead houseplants and their soil

  33. Used matches

  34. Fireplace ashes, BBQ ashes

  35. Dead leaves

  36. Clippings from your lawn

  37. Flowers from a dead or dying bouquet

  38. Newspaper – I would shred this for a faster decomposing process

  39. Cotton and wool fabrics

  40. Feathers

  41. Sawdust

  42. Vacuum cleaner bag contents – remove any pennies or bobby pins! Things that aren’t natural

  43. Watermelon Rinds


Compost With Us! We have a few savings programs for our compost warriors

Go Green Save Green Program

Other Savings Programs 


Other articles you might enjoy:

Common Compost Questions 

The Importance of the 3 R's

25 Ways To Conserve Water At Home

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  • Gabriella De Luca