Green Wiki
  • Biodegradable waste
  • Brown waste
  • Food scraps
  • Fruit
  • Green waste
  • Humanure
  • Tree bark
  • Vegetables
  • Bread and Crackers
  • Cardboard
  • Cocoa shell
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Hair
  • Leaf mold
  • Lint
  • Manure
  • Newspaper and Bills
  • Spent mushroom compost
  • Tea Bags
  • Wine

Food Scraps

Food scraps are the most common item that one thinks of when collecting compost. Fruit and/or vegetable peelings will break down and eventually give you nutrient soil for your garden. If you’re not a huge fan of cooking at home (with loads of veggies and other organic items), we’ve got some waste-free recipes that are sure to change your mind.

Bread and Crackers

Stale starches such as bread, crackers, pretzels and even cooked pasta and cooked rice can be beneficial for your compost because these drier items will help offset the wetter kitchen waste such as veggie trimmings or used coffee grounds.

Coffee Grounds and Tea Bags

As with dead leaves and paper products, spent coffee grounds and/or used tea bags have high carbon content, which is a necessary element to maintaining a healthy compost system.


If you happen to have wine left over from that dinner party you had last night, you can add it to your compost pile. The ingredients in the beverage itself actually encourage the decomposition process.


See also:Paper recycling

Just like newspaper and junk mail, cardboard items can be thrown in the bin as a dry material. Remember to shred the cardboard into little pieces before composting. Common cardboard items around the house include toilet paper rolls, paper cartons from eggs and berries. Just keep in mind that all cardboard should be clean and grease-free. So, can you toss in that pizza box? Yes, but you should remove the oil-soaked portions first.

Newspaper and Bills

See also:Paper recycling, or Reducing Junk Mail

Almost all forms of clean, non-treated paper can be composted. The dry material will help balance the ratio of green (C-rich) to brown (N-rich) materials in your pile. Compostable papers include bills, junk mail, paper towels, paper napkins, paper plates and newspaper.


Nope, you didn’t read that wrong. Human hair is compostable and recyclable. Hair from your hairbrush and/or fur from your pet are full of useful nitrogen that can be thrown in the compost pile. You can even toss in polish-free nail trimmings!


It’s all dirt anyway, right? Ashes from your fireplace, lint from your dryer and/or the dusty contents of your vacuum bag post-clean are all fodder for the bin. Now you have another excuse to do some really late spring cleaning.