What Can I Put in the Compost Bin?

The weather is starting to warm up—finally!—and that means my thoughts are turning every more so toward the outdoors.  All winter long, I dutifully trudge out to the side yard and dump used coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, paper towels, etc. into the compost bin.

Come spring I will spend time turning the contents of the bin and incorporating some additional “brown” or carbon rich material—usually shredded newspaper—to maintain the proper balance between carbon rich and nitrogen rich materials.  However, spring is also the first time I really look at what is in my bin and wonder if I am putting in the right stuff.

I do not get too worked up about oils and fats being included in my bins because I never have anything like a stick of butter or a bottle of olive oil to compost.  It’s usually some oil on a towel or something like that.

Other people will tell you not to include bread or other baked goods.  Again, it’s not like I am disposing of a loaf of bread or a dozen donuts in the compost bin.  However, I know that hard crusts my daughter does not eat or the last few bites of a cookie have found their way into the steaming pile.

Heck, there are people I know who compost the entrails from slaughtering chickens on their small farmsteads with absolutely no problems.  Granted, the remains are not thrown on giant open piles but it shows how far you can take the premise of composting.  If you were so inclined you could even go the whole humanure route.  I am not there yet.

Regardless of what you compost or what rules you are following the important fact is that you are composting.  Compost happens, man.


2 responses to “What Can I Put in the Compost Bin?

  1. Hi, my name is Joe Eitel and I’m in charge of web content for Hometown Dumpster Rental (HometownDumpsterRental.com). I came across your site recently and noticed our “Composting 101” infographic. Hometown Dumpster Rental originally created Composting 101 back in May of 2012.

    Thank you sharing this infographic with your readers! Would you be so kind as to properly attribute the infographic back to our site? If you could include a link back to Hometown Dumpster Rental (URL below) and let me know when you do so, that would be great.


    Again, thanks for including our infographic at your site, and I appreciate your time in the matter.

    Joseph Eitel
    (616) 723-8515

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