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Many people are using compost piles these days. The biggest question most people have when they start to compost is “What can I add to my compost pile?”.


This list shows many items that can be safely composted in your compost bin or pile. Not everything on these lists is for everybody so use it as a reference. Some items may bring insects to your pile, like rice and other food items, so choose these only if pests are not a problem.


Please take note that while meat, dairy, and fats can be composted there must be special care in order to compost these items safely.




What Can Be Added to the Compost Pile


Pet Items for the Compost Pile

  • Dry dog, cat or fish food
  • Alfalfa hay from rabbits
  • Any fur from brushing your dog
  • Manure from horses, cows, or goats
  • Bee droppings
  • Birdcage cleanings
  • Aquarium plants
  • Fish Scraps
  • Feathers
  • Horse Hair


Laundry Room Items for the Compost Pile

  • Dryer lint
  • Old mismatched socks, shredded
  • Cotton clothing, shredded
  • Denim, shredded
  • Old towels, shredded


Kitchen Items for the Compost Pile

  • Paper napkins and paper towels
  • Freezer burned veggies
  • Scraps from fruits and vegetables
  • Tea Bags
  • Coffee filters and grounds
  • Cooked Pasta and Rice
  • Shredded brown bags
  • Stale bread, chips, and crackers
  • Stale cereal
  • Shredded cardboard food boxes
  • Oatmeal
  • Nut shells except for Walnuts
  • Chopped up wine corks
  • Toothpicks and bamboo skewers
  • Popcorn
  • Old Spices
  • Stale beer
  • Old wine
  • Eggshells
  • Corn cobs (takes a long time)
  • Outdated yogurt
  • Onion skins
  • Seeds if chopped up
  • Leftover salad
  • Burnt toast
  • Grocery receipts
  • Pizza crusts
  • Muffin or cupcake paper wrappers



Office Items for the Compost Pile

  • Shredded bills and papers
  • Pencil Shavings
  • Sticky Notes
  • Matte business cards
  • Envelopes without the windows



Household Items for the Compost Pile

  • Dust bunnies
  • Newspapers
  • Vacuum cleaner contents
  • Used potpourri
  • Houseplant Leaves
  • Dried out floral arrangements
  • Ashes from the fireplace
  • Shredded cardboard toilet paper tubes
  • Kleenex
  • Old sheets, shredded
  • Old leather gloves
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Electric razor trimmings
  • Haircut remnants
  • Leather wallets
  • Leather watch bands
  • Ivory soap scraps
  • Used matches
  • Greeting Cards
  • Cotton balls
  • Tampons and pads
  • Condoms
  • Cardboard tampon applicators
  • Fingernail and toenail clippings



Miscellaneous Items for the Compost Bin

  • Wood chippings
  • Grass clipping
  • Hay
  • Pine Needles
  • Leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Garden Waste
  • Garden Soil
  • Blood Meal
  • Limestone
  • Fish meal
  • Spanish Moss
  • Flower Petals
  • Weeds
  • Cattail Reeds
  • Bat Guano
  • Lobster and crab shells
  • Moss from hanging baskets
  • Urine
  • Seaweed
  • Holiday greenery
  • Pine combs
  • Raffia
  • Chopped up sticks and branches
  • Chicken bedding

What you can add to the compost pile






















Composting provides many benefits to the homestead gardens. Knowing what can be safely added to the compost pile can provide you with wonderful compost for your gardens. For more detailed information on composting, including how to get started, see my post-Composting: What You Need to Know About it.


This post is shared on Good Morning Mondays and Homestead Blog Hop.