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The Must List: 101 things to Compost

Our lives are sustained, enhanced and surrounded by a long list of consumables. Foods, health products, laundry products, and even those things for the cat or dog - and 99.9% of the time there's a waste element. Every day we're confronted with decisions on how to best dispose of this waste.

Here's a list of 101 items you probably didn't know you could compost!

 

From the Kitchen

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps

  • Egg shells (crushed)

  • Coffee grounds

  • Coffee filters

  • Loose leaf tea and tea bags (Make sure they are made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, and not rayon or other synthetics. If in doubt, just open it and compost the tea leaves alone.)

  • Spoiled soy/rice/almond/coconut milk

  • Used paper napkins and paper towels

  • Unwaxed cardboard pizza boxes (ripped or cut into small pieces)

  • Paper bags (shredded)

  • The crumbs you sweep off of the counters and floors

  • Cooked pasta

  • Cooked rice

  • Stale bread, pitas, or tortillas

  • Stale tortilla chips or potato chips

  • Spoiled pasta sauce or tomato paste

  • Crumbs from the bottom of snack food packaging

  • Paper towel rolls (shredded)

  • Stale crackers

  • Stale cereal

  • Cardboard boxes from cereal, pasta, etc. (Remove any plastic windows and shred)

  • Used paper plates (as long as they don’t have a waxy coating)

  • Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which are toxic to plants)

  • Tofu and tempeh

  • Seaweed, kelp or nori

  • Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels

  • Old herbs and spices

  • Stale biscuits

  • Stale lollies (crushed or chopped)

  • Stale protein or “energy” bars

  • Pizza crusts

  • Old oatmeal

  • Peanut shells

  • Cardboard egg cartons (cut them up)

  • Stale pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds (chopped up so they can’t sprout)

  • Avocado pits (chopped up so they don’t sprout)

  • Wine corks (chop up so they decompose faster)

  • Moldy cheese (in moderation)

  • Melted ice cream (in moderation)

  • Old jelly, jam, or preserves

  • Stale beer and wine

  • Toothpicks (wooden or bamboo)

  • Bamboo skewers (break them into pieces)

  • Paper cupcake or muffin cups (was free)

Pet Related

  • Fur from the dog or cat brush

  • Droppings and bedding from your rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, etc.

  • Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird or snake cage

  • Feathers

  • Horse, cow, chicken or goat manure, etc

  • Alfalfa hay or pellets (usually fed to rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.)

  • Dry dog or cat food, fish pellets

Around the House

  • Dead insects (cockroaches, etc) 

  • Contents of your vacuum cleaner bag or canister (pick out any inorganic stuff, like coins or legos)

  • Contents of your dustpan (again, pick out any inorganic stuff)

  • Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)

  • Junk mail (shredded, remove coated paper and plastic windows)

  • Subscription cards from magazines (shredded)

  • Hession bags (cut or torn into small pieces)

  • Old rope and twine (chopped, natural, unwaxed only)

  • Leaves trimmed from houseplants

  • Dead houseplants and their soil

  • Flowers from floral arrangements

  • Natural potpourri

  • Used matches

  • Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pits (in moderation)

  • Grass clippings

  • Dead autumn leaves

  • Sawdust (from plain wood that has NOT been pressure-treated, stained or painted)

  • Party and Holiday Supplies

  • Wrapping paper rolls (cut into smaller pieces)

  • Paper table cloths (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)

  • Crepe paper streamers (shredded)

  • Latex balloons

  • Paper lanterns (smashed)

  • Those hay bales you used as part of your outdoor decor (broken apart)

  • Natural holiday wreaths (chop up with pruners first)

  • Christmas trees (chop up with pruners first, or use a wood chipper, if you have one…)

  • Evergreen garlands (chop up with pruners first)

From the Bathroom

  • Used facial tissues

  • Hair from your hairbrush

  • Trimmings from an electric razor

  • Toilet paper rolls (shredded)

  • Old loofahs (cut up, natural only)

  • Nail clippings

  • Latex condoms

  • 100% cotton, cotton balls

  • Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton and cardboard (not plastic) sticks

  • 100% cotton tampons and sanitary pads (including used)

  • Cardboard tampon applicators

  • Menstrual blood

  • Urine

From the Laundry

  • Dryer lint (from natural fabrics only!)

  • Old/stained cotton clothing and jeans (ripped or cut into small pieces)

  • Cotton fabric scraps (shredded)

  • Old wool clothing (ripped or cut into small pieces)

  • Very old cotton towels and sheets (shredded)

  • From the Office

  • Bills and other plain paper documents (shredded)

  • Envelopes (shredded, minus the plastic window)

  • Pencil shavings

  • Sticky notes (shredded)

  • Old business cards (shredded, as long as they’re not glossy / laminated)