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What can you put in a compost bin?

Are you trying to work out what exactly you can put in your compost bin? Well, in all honesty you can actually put more in your compost bin than you think. Here, we are going to dig into what exactly you can put in your compost bin, and you will be surprised to read about all of the items that decompose pretty nicely. It is not just your fruit and vegetable scraps that you can throw into your compost bin, there is actually a lot more that will decompose into your bin quite nicely. So, read on to find out just what you can put in your compost bin.

What is composting?

Composting is a really great way to make sure that you use up food waste, but you do not need to just limit your compost bin to food waste. When it comes to composting, you can also consider household products, or you can also consider pet-related items, and you can even consider things outside your house for more compost bin additions. 


There are a lot of items out there that you can put in your compost bin, and some of these items are actually pretty surprising. However, our recommendations of some of the different things that you can put in your compost bin will all add a little something to your compost bin mix. All of these items will actually return nutrients or other organic matter back to the soil, and they will make the soil rich and fertile.

What can you put in your compost bin?

The kitchen

If we work through all of the rooms in your home, well, the most obvious one to start off with is the kitchen. Naturally, this is where you would think to look first for things to put in your compost bin. There are the items that you would expect to put in your compost bin, such as fruits and vegetables – these can either be rotten or these can be scraps. Additionally, you can throw in your pizza crusts, just not the greasy cardboard box that your takeaway comes in. You can also throw in random scraps of food such as pulp that you have leftover from juicing, or any kind of gone off milk, and even old or burnt oatmeal – let’s be honest with each other here, we have all been there at some point. You can even compost your stale tortilla chips or potato chips because baked decomposes a lot faster than anything deep fried.


You can delve even deeper into your kitchen, and really get rid of those random scraps of food that end up straight in the trash. You can throw your leftover cooked rice or barley into your compost bin, and you can even throw your pasta leftovers in your compost bin, although we advise not to throw in pasta covered in sauce. This is just because this can attract animals, and they are not what you want to see in your compost bin. You can even throw in your used coffee grinds as well as the used coffee filter, the same goes for your used tea bags and loose leaf tea. So, your caffeine addiction can also fuel your compost bin as well as you.


It is also important to mention that you can put small amounts of melted ice cream or mouldy cheese into your compost bin – we say small amounts because of the whole attracting animals scenario. Here’s the thing, you want a pretty well-functioning compost bin without your own personal farmyard accompanying it. When you are trying to work out if you can put some slightly less conventional food supplies in your compost bin, start off with smaller amounts and work out if the food is compostable. And also, this will mean that you can avoid attracting a whole load of animals to your backyard. Naturally, there are some food supplies that you will have a lot more of than others, but if you have a rogue block of mouldy cheese that you have forgotten about then you should take a less is more sort of approach to this.

Top up your compost bin with the help of your pets

If you do not want any backyard animals invading your compost bin, but you have pets of your own in your home, then their supplies can also help you top up your compost bin. If you have a hamster then you can compost the hay from their bed when you come to change it over. Additionally, if you are an owner of chickens then chicken droppings can work wonders for your compost bin.


It is true that chicken fertilizer is pretty great for your grass and so, once you get around to sweeping out your backyard chicken coop then you should take the chicken droppings to your compost bin. Alternatively, any kind of pet droppings can be added to your compost bin. You can add any kind of pet droppings to your compost bin, along with any fur or pet hair after you give your pet a much-needed trim. 

Take a look around your home for things to put in your compost bin

When it comes to the slightly more random items that you can put in your compost bin, these are things that you can just find around your house. If you want to keep things simple to start off with, just break it down to what things you can put in your recycling bin. Chances are, you can put these things in your compost bin.


You can throw in the compost bin a few different kinds of papers, such as brown paper bags, or shredded up newspapers – these are made from recyclable paper anyway. You can also throw in your compost bin shavings from your pencils and colored pencils or even crayons, this is especially handy if you are an esteemed artist or if your child is. Alternatively, if you enjoy having fresh flowers in your home but you hate disposing of them when they die then you can also add these to your compost bin.

In conclusion

On the whole, there are quite a wide variety of things that you can throw in your compost bin – and if you are unsure as to whether or not you can dispose of something in this way, work out whether it is recyclable or, just test out if you can throw in this item by adding in small chunks of it to begin with.

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