Composting is a natural process that converts organic waste into nutrient-rich humus, which can be used to improve soil health and support plant growth. To help you get started, here’s a list of items that are generally okay to compost and items that are not suitable for composting:

Items that are okay to compost:

  1. Fruit and vegetable scraps (e.g., peels, cores, seeds)
  2. Coffee grounds and filters
  3. Tea bags (without staples)
  4. Eggshells
  5. Nutshells (except walnut shells, which contain a chemical that inhibits plant growth)
  6. Yard trimmings (e.g., grass clippings, leaves)
  7. Shredded paper (non-glossy)
  8. Cardboard (broken down into smaller pieces)
  9. Dryer lint (from natural fibers like cotton and wool)
  10. Hair and fur (from pets or human hair)
  11. Plant-based food leftovers (e.g., rice, pasta, bread, etc.)
  12. Yard waste (small branches, twigs)
  13. Manure from herbivores (cow, horse, rabbit, etc.)
  14. Chicken manure

Items that are not okay to compost:

  1. Meat and fish (including bones and scraps)
  2. Dairy products (e.g., milk, cheese, yogurt)
  3. Grease and oils
  4. Fats and lard
  5. Pet waste (e.g., dog or cat feces)
  6. Diseased plants or weeds with seeds
  7. Synthetic or treated fabrics
  8. Plastic and metal
  9. Glossy or colored paper
  10. Coal or charcoal ash
  11. Citrus peels in large quantities (small amounts are fine)
  12. Walnut shells (as mentioned earlier, they contain a chemical toxic to plants)
  13. Invasive plants (seeds or plant material that may spread and cause harm)
  14. Styrofoam

Remember that successful composting requires a balance of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials, as well as adequate air circulation and moisture. Avoid adding items that can attract pests or create odor issues. If in doubt, you can always refer to local composting guidelines or check with your municipality for specific composting recommendations and regulations.