This waste can slow down or even stop the decomposition process

Composting is an easy way to turn kitchen and garden waste into something useful for the garden. But not everything suits her equally. Some food waste creates an odor that can attract pests, and some yard waste can slow or stop the decomposition process, which can be very uncomfortable. You don’t want to add anything that could harm you or your plants when using ready-made compost in your garden, do you? In this article, you will discover what not to compost and what household waste you may not know about composting.

What is not allowed on the compost – meat and fish residues

The stench of stale seafood or the stench of rotting meat is sure to make you feel uncomfortable. But those foul odors are also magnets for raccoons, rats, flies, and many other wildlife, including some nearby pets. So never put meat, fish, or bones in a compost heap. Even if you have a closed compost bin, the smell can attract pests to picnic there.

Dairy products, fats and oils should not be thrown on the compost

Dairy products, fats and oils in a compost bin attract rats and flies

Dairy products such as cheese, butter, milk, sour cream and yogurt, as well as fats and oils, should be avoided for the same reason: they attract unwanted visitors. You should also avoid processed foods that are high in dairy or fat.

Chemically treated plants and wood

What not to compost - some waste can stop the decomposition process

Never add plants to your compost that have been treated with insecticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Residues from chemicals used in the garden to kill insects and control plant diseases can inadvertently kill beneficial organisms in compost. Herbicide residues can affect plants once compost is added. The same goes for pressure-treated, painted, stained or varnished wood.

Plants that are diseased or attacked by pests

Killing insects and pathogens such as fungi and bacteria requires a hot compost pile (up to a temperature of 140-140°F (60-63°C) and maintained for at least several days). Unfortunately, most home compost bins and piles never reach temperatures high enough for pests and diseases to remain inside.

What should not be on the compost – weeds grown hectarest: Same for weeds that have developed seeds that can generally survive as long as compost temperatures don’t reach 140°F (63°C). There is no point in sowing weeds next year while applying the finished compost.

Dog and cat droppings don’t belong in the compost heap

Dog and cat waste can become hazardous waste


Dog and cat feces can turn the final product into hazardous waste because cats and dogs can carry bacteria and parasites that cause disease to humans. Roundworms are the most common problem with dog poop. Cat feces and litter are of even greater concern because they can carry the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, a disease particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it can seriously harm an unborn baby.

What should not be in the compost – black walnut tree debris

Black walnut contains juglone, which inhibits the growth of many plants

Most untreated garden and yard waste is a good addition to your compost pile, but there are exceptions. The leaves, twigs, and especially the roots of the black walnut tree contain a natural substance called juglone, which hinders the growth of many plants and can kill them. Some plants appear to be more delicate, including edible plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes, and ornamentals such as azaleas, viburnum, and hydrangeas. Research has found that over time and with sufficient heat, juglone will degrade to the point where it loses its toxicity, but black walnut cuttings are best left first.

Coal ash should be avoided

Coal ash does not belong to the compost heap


Ash on Compost – Although you can add ash from a wood-burning stove or fireplace (in limited quantities), coal ash should not be added. First, these materials are high in sulfur, which can make your finished fertilizer too acidic for most plants. Second, charcoal briquettes often contain chemicals that can harm plants.

What mistakes should every gardener avoid when fertilizing? You can read it here!

These compostable products will amaze you

Composting for beginners - allowed and not allowed on compost

Now that you know what not to do, here are some tips. There are many waste products you may not have thought of but that are safe to put in your compost bin. However, add the following things only if they are free from the above prohibitions.

  • hair and fur
  • drying pad
  • decoration plants
  • Brewery waste (spent hops and barley)
  • Used tissues and paper towels
  • Ancient herbs and spices
  • Popcorn not chopped or burnt
  • Cardboard box and paper plates (small pieces, uncoated)
  • Wooden chopsticks and toothpicks

How can you speed up the composting process? Find it here!

Summary – composting for beginners

What can go on compost:

  • Animal dung from herbivores
  • Brown paper products (carton rolls, cereal boxes, brown paper bags)
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Ground coffee and filters
  • cotton and wool
  • Lint vacuum cleaner and hair dryer made of natural materials
  • crushed eggshells
  • Grass clippings, garden waste
  • hair and fur
  • straw straw
  • indoor plants
  • tree leaves
  • Peel
  • torn newspaper
  • Sawdust, sawdust, toothpicks, burnt matches
  • Fruit and vegetable bowls
  • old vegetables
  • old bread
  • corn husks
  • Matte (crushed) catalogs or mail
  • pinecone
  • cardboard egg paper
  • Tea leaves / used tea
  • Cooked rice/noodle
  • wine corks
  • Ordinary paper documents

advice! It is better to add some substances, such as onion residues, citrus peels, stale bread and egg shells to the compost in small quantities.

What is not allowed on the compost:

  • Meat and fish products
  • Dairy products
  • Treated wood / sawdust
  • acidic foods
  • Oils or fatty foods
  • pet waste
  • human waste
  • The herbs that became seeds
  • Leftover onion and garlic
  • plastic
  • glazed carton
  • cellophane
  • poisonous plants
  • diseased plants
  • plants treated with pesticides
  • cinder
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • diapers
  • synthetic fibers
  • leather goods
  • glossy paper
  • wrapping paper
  • glass
  • black walnut products

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