Composting is the ultimate in recycling. Food scraps and vegetation are easily turned into the highly desirable soil amendment known simply as compost. Compost can be used as a natural fertilizer for all garden beds, as a potting medium for most container plants including houseplants and even scattered through out the yard to act as a fertilizer for grass and other ground cover. There simply is not such thing as too much compost! As wonderful as compost is there are some items that should not go into your compost bin:
- meats, bones, fat - Meats and fats will not only attract scavenger animals but they quickly go rancid causing your compost to smell. Most bones will not compost so to be on the safe side don't put any bones in your compost.
- paper towels, kleenex, coffee filters, tea bags - Unless you use eco-friendly, non-bleached paper towels or kleenex do not put them into your compost. This is especially important if you are gardening organically. Things like bleached paper products contain chlorine residues and other bleaching agents that will contaminate your organic garden.
- dryer sheets, easy wipes, baby wipes - Chemically treated anything does not belong in your compost bin.
- cat litter, cat/dog/human feces - Cat litter and pet/human feces should not be added to the compost bin. This will contaminate your compost as well as possibly introduce disease or parasites that could pass to humans.
- corn cobs - In general corn cobs do not break down well. In fact when dried they are great for the wood stove or camp fires but not for the compost bin.
- plastic, styrofoam, wax coated paper - These will not break down anytime soon but as they do these materials release toxic chemicals into the compost.