What NOT to Put in your Compost Bin

These materials may be organic, but you don’t want them in your pile. Learn what to avoid throwing in the bin, and why.

Don’t add these to your compost bin:

Dairy, meat or fish. This includes bones and skin. These animal product can draw raccoons, rodents and flies to your pile. If you live in a rural area, you could even attract bigger wildlife, like bears.

Cooking oils and other kinds of grease. These can upset the chemical balance the bacteria needs to break down matter, and slow down your pile’s progress. Oil can also attract hungry pests.

Diseased plants. The bacteria or fungus that damaged the plants could survive the composting process, and pass the disease on to healthy plants.

Perennial weeds. The seeds from these hardy plants can survive the composting process, and contaminate your garden.

Sawdust from treated wood. The chemicals used to treat the wood aren’t good for your soil.

Dog or cat poop. Pet waste can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that you won’t want to add to your vegetable garden.

Next: What are the benefits of composting?

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“I’ve purchased two double-bin cedar composters from Steve’s Earth Engine over the past few years. They are durable, and the cedar weathers to a beautiful natural finish that blends in well with a garden. And most important, they work! I get loads of rich compost from them.”
Byron B, Whitmore, CA

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