Gallery: How To Start an Odor-Free Freezer Compost Bin as a City or Sma...


What you can and cannot compost

If you're new to composting you may reason that anything that decomposes is suitable for the compost, but there are in fact a number of things that you shouldn't add to your scrap pile — particularly if your scraps will end up in a compost pile in a city or residential area. Things should never be composted:

Cooking oil or greasy foods: This stuff smells like food to animals and insects and can effect the moisture of the compost.

Meat and dairy products: More pest magnets you don't want to introduce into a compost pile.

Diseased plants: You absolutely do not want to transfer fungi or bacteria to the food or plants that end up growing in the compost. It is a better idea to just trash them.

Weeds: Plants such as dandelions and ivy will probably find a loving home in the compost pile rather than decompose.

Heavily coated or printed paper: Recycle them instead. The chemicals used in printing can compromise the compost.

Sawdust: If you're considering this, you need to make sure that the wood is all-natural and not treated in any way.

Feces and personal hygiene products: Doing this will create a health risk and potentially spread disease.

COMPOSTABLE ITEMS: Acceptable materials include fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps (rice, pasta, bread, cereal etc.), coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg and nut shells, pits, cut or dried flowers, houseplants and potting soil.

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