I am a saver by nature; I think it was built into me by my dad. He could always find a use for anything, and we were always taught not to be wasteful.
I am sure that is the main reason I keep a compost bin. It feels good knowing that what would normally just be tossed out will serve a new purpose; creating beautiful, healthy and nutrient-rich soil for some gardening project around the house instead of just contributing to the landfill.
Knowing what items to save for your compost pile or bin is a must. There are some items that you should really be saving to add to your compost bin for maximum benefit.
Top Items To Save For Your Compost Bin
Table Scraps – Instead of scraping plates off into the trash after a meal (which makes the trash stink anyway), keep a container handy to scrape items into instead to add to the compost. It seems like we have an endless supply of apple cores and things like that to toss in throughout the day. Avoid composting meat and bone scraps, which will attract animals.
Waste Items From Cooking – I always save the unusable parts of the food for my compost when I am preparing a meal. The ends of carrots, onions, celery, the outer leaves of the cabbage head, cucumber peels, banana peels, etc all go into my compost bin.We love to make Vegetable Stock with our peelings. Eggs shells are also a great item to add.
Coffee Grounds/Tea Bags – Yep, put those in as well, filter and all. These items are rich in nitrogen and very beneficial.
Clippings from the Yard – Don’t waste your money on those big, expensive trash bags. When you are done mowing the yard, empty the mower bag in thin layers into the compost pile instead. The same goes for trimming bushes and plants as well. Add them to the pile, although it helps to have larger pieces broken down. When it comes time for raking leaves, add those dried leaves too.
Cardboard – Torn paper towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls are good items to add. Also cardboard cereal boxes, broken-down pieces of larger cardboard boxes as well as torn apart cardboard egg cartons make great compost items.
Paper – You can add newspaper and other paper as well, just try to avoid adding colored or slick, glossy paper. This would be a good places for your shredded confidential documents. You don’t often get paper bags from the store anymore, but if you have them, you can add those too. You can even compost the paper napkins you get from fast food restaurants.
Hay/Straw – These are wonderful items to add to your compost. They are slower to rot and help create pockets of air which is beneficial.
Manure from various animals – I know that most people don’t have ready access to all forms of these items, but if you are able to get some, it is an excellent addition to your compost. Some manures are better than others , and manure from meat-eating animals (dogs, cats, etc) is not recommended at all as there is a risk of parasites that can be transmitted to humans. Manure is best if it isn’t fresh, aging it about 6 months is a good idea.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does give you a good starting point for getting your compost bin going. Do you already have a compost pile?
What is the most unusual item that you add to your pile?