What Not to Compost

Okay people.

I’m going to step out on a limb and bet that you’re trying to be more “green.”

from plu

Everybody is.

Composting is just one of those things that people do to (a) save the earth (b) reduce household trash (c) have a better garden.

from 1bp

There are some “don’ts” to composting, however. Let me enlighten you.

What not to compost:

1. Breads, cakes, pastas.

from september

Putting carbs in your compost pile is like saying, “Free 24 hour buffet of your favorite treats!” to all manner of varmints. And you can bet they’ll bring their friends and cousins, too.

2. Cooking Oil

from tradenote

Disrupts your pile’s moisture balance and smells like a mouthwatering dinner bell to those aforementioned varmints.

3. Diseased Plants

from instate

I shouldn’t have to tell you this–but if you put diseased plants into a compost pile, let them fester for a few months, then dump them all over your fresh, tender plants–all you’re doing is spreading disease.

So just throw them away.

4. Coated/Printed Paper

from joliet

This includes magazines, posters, wrapping paper, and anything that is not strictly paper. The coating and inks can be hard to break down–even toxic–and the foil on the underside of that wrapping paper doesn’t degrade. Surprise.

5. Used Personal Products

from your diaper

Can we say health risk?

Why you would even consider doing this is beyond me. Just don’t, ok?

Throw it all away. It all.

6. Rice

from azcookbook

Rice can quickly grow several bacterias that you don’t want in a compost pile. Plus–again–the varmints love it.

7. Kudzu 

from earth first

Unless you want your house to look like this in a week.

8. Dairy Products

from thehealthage

Pretty much anything you can’t eat on a diet you can’t compost. Carbs, dairy, rice. The varmints (can you tell I love that word? I can’t stop picturing the Beverly Hillbillies) love it all.

9. Shit

Nope–you don’t get a picture for this one. You know what it looks like.

Feces shouldn’t be composted unless they come from an herbivore. Health hazard and all that.

10. Meat

from meat

This includes blood, bones and dead bodies.

Even Dexter knew not to compost his kills.

Plus, it’s a varmint magnet.

11. Walnuts

from iron magazine

Walnuts actually contain juglone, a compound that can be toxic to some plants.

12. Sawdust

from peace4jesus

It’s counterintuitive, I know, but unless you are positive that the sawdust is from untreated wood, don’t compost it.

Well, that’s it for today–

–hope that you are edified. Go forth and compost safely.

suck it, martha.

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Categories: Tips


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4 Comments on “What Not to Compost”

  1. August 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    On the bright side, at least if you get overrun with kudzu, you can eat it. 🙂

  2. Norseman
    August 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    What is truly counterintuitive is the fact that your sawdust picture is attributed to peace4jesus.

    • August 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      I was wondering if anyone would notice that citation. Cracked me up.

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