Some Foods You Should NEVER Compost

There are a lot of things that you should never compost. This includes any foods that have dairy products, meats, diseased plants, or oils in them. There are many reasons why these items should not be added to your compost bin. Since there is such a wide variety of food waste generated by restaurants and grocery stores, it would not be easy to list all the different types here, but we will try our best to go over some examples.

PS. Find out how extra nitrogen plays into a healthy garden!

Compost Foods To Avoid

Dairy products, meats, and oils are all examples of what not to add to your compost bin. The dairy products will produce a sour smell because they contain lactic acids. This is due to the bacteria in them that break down milk proteins into amino acids. Meat contains large amounts of nitrogen, which can cause an unpleasant odor as well. Finally, adding oils or fats creates odors from their decomposition process-again this doesn't smell good!

Some other items you should never include in food waste for home composting are diseased plants such as those with insect infestations, dead animals (except worms), pesticides, herbicides, yard clippings containing fertilizers or weed killers, animal carcasses like rodent droppings, and pet hair, and dog feces.

You can compost some foods, but they are limited in what you should include. Citrus peels, for example, don't smell when added to the bin because their volatile oils have been cooked off during the juicing process.

You shouldn't add dairy products that contain milk solids or cheese as they will create sour odors from lactic acid bacteria, decomposing them into amino acids-again, not a pleasant smell!

But other fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, apples, citrus fruit without peelings (which is still good), coffee grounds if used sparingly) can be included in small amounts with your regular composting so long as they go along with the rest of your mix materials like leaves/grass clippings, vegetable scraps, and eggshells.

Do Not Put In Any Plastic or Other Non-Biodegradable Materials

You should also not put in any plastic or other non-biodegradable materials as these will take much longer to decompose, if at all. You can avoid this by first cooking your food and then adding it into the compost bin with a wire mesh screen so that you are sure no pieces of the trash get mixed up in there!

Avoid Adding Weeds And Grass To Your Compost

These are too dense for the worms to break down efficiently. And while they are technically organic, weeds and grasses are often covered with pesticides or other chemicals. Therefore, it would be best if you composted these separately instead, as this will limit the exposure of your worms to potentially dangerous substances.


You CAN compost bones, though, as the name suggests, they are slow to break down. So it is best not to put too many in each time you add new materials and make sure it has a lot of moisture so that bacterial activity can occur.

Bone Meal

This material should be added sparingly, if at all! Bone meal contains phosphorus, which helps plants grow but adding this may lead to an imbalance in your composting bin's nitrogen levels.

Coconut Coir Fiber From Your Local Garden Store In The Organic Section

It will look like shredded up pieces of coconut husk fiber (or straw) and usually comes compressed into bricks or square bales for easy transport home. Coconut coir is made from coconut husks that have been dried out and compressed.

Fruit And Vegetable Peels

Fruits and veggies with tough skins can be composted whole, or the peels can be cut off before adding them into the composter. Make sure there's no meat attached like pineapple tops (which should never go in!). Other fruits and vegetables without any skin on them should also be peeled first because they'll rot faster than if left intact. The only exception: cherry pits - these are toxic to plants grown in the soil.

In conclusion:

I recommend separating some foods from what you typically put on your plate, so they don't go bad before their time is due for garbage day pickup (especially ones that smell!) and add them to your compost instead. This way, you'll be doing something good for our earth while reducing waste buildup in landfills! And, who doesn't love fresh herbs?



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