What can go in your compost bin?

Composting and gardening

Have you read my earlier post on composting? I’m kinda into it. 😊  Do you know what you can compost?  Well below is a bit of cheat sheet as to the things that you can (and those that you can’t), so the process is super easy for you.

What Can You Compost?

The truth is, if you have an item that was made from natural materials, it most likely can be composted. – Yes that’s a broad statement, but it is true.

Everything from post it notes to the leather from a leather handbag can be composted, as they will break down, and become part of the natural matter that worms and other dirt dwellers can eat.

Here I’ve created a short list of just some of things that will compost, I really want you to get thinking about all the waste you produce and begin to question if it HAS to go into your waste bin for the council to collect?  Can it compost?  A massive amount of items can.

  1. Fruit and veggie scraps
  2. Left over bread
  3. Hair from hairbrushes
  4. Left over liquid from canned fruit and vegetables
  5. Paper
  6. Lint from your clothes dryer
  7. Eggshells
  8. Houseplant cuttings
  9. Coffee Grounds
  10. Teabags (ensure their liners are not synthetic)
  11. Kitchen roll and paper towels
  12. Spent matches
  13. Dirt and dust from vacuuming
  14. Pet hair
  15. Old flowers from a bouquet


Are you looking for more inspiration? Check out this list of 100 items you can compost.

Things you can’t compost

Plastic – even when plastic ‘breaks down’ it doesn’t decompose completely creating micro plastics, this is a disaster for our natural environment.

Meat and Used Cooking Oil – Meat and Bones don’t do well in a food scrap composting system.  There are ways you can create a separate system for this type of waste which you can learn about here.

Animal Waste – their waste can include microorganisms and parasites that will reek havoc with the viability of your compost to use in your garden to grow food.

Glossy or Coated paper – usually this texture to the paper is from plastic.

Sticky labels on fruits and veggies – these ridiculous little stickers are the scurge of my existence. They will not break down in your pile.


If you’re interested, i’ve also written an artilce on the difference between different types of ‘plastic’ bags, including degradable and composting ones.

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