101 Things You Can Compost

So many people responded with shock in my previous composting post that you could compost wine corks, finger nails and hair, I decided to write an expanded list of items that are all safe for composting! While doing my research on all of these items, I was shocked too!

For those non-composting folk: Once you see all the things that go in the landfills instead of back into the garden or earth’s soil – hopefully you’ll be encouraged to start composting too!

Here goes… 101 things you can compost!


  1. Coffee grounds
  2. Coffee filters
  3. Burlap coffee bags
  4. Milk (in small amounts)
  5. Outdated yogurt
  6. Tea bags
  7. Used paper napkins
  8. Pizza boxes, ripped up
  9. Paper bags, ripped or balled up
  10. The crumbs off of the counters & floors
  11. Cooked pasta
  12. Cooked rice
  13. Egg shells
  14. Stale bread
  15. Stale cereal
  16. Stale preztels
  17. Pizza crust
  18. Freezer burnt Veggies
  19. Freezer burnt Fruit
  20. Stale crackers
  21. Tofu
  22. Paper towel rolls
  23. Used paper plates (NO wax coating)
  24. Cellophane bags (Cellophane – not plastic.)
  25. Nut shells
  26. Expired herbs and spices (or new if you wanted to?!)
  27. Cereal boxes (ripped up)
  28. Wine corks
  29. Moldy cheese
  30. Potato peelings
  31. Melted ice cream
  32. Old jelly, jam, or preserves
  33. Stale beer (tragedy!)
  34. Stale wine (double tragedy!)
  35. Paper egg cartons
  36. Toothpicks
  37. Bamboo skewers
  38. Paper cupcake or muffin cups
  39. Bathroom

  40. Used facial tissues
  41. Hair from your hairbrush
  42. Toilet paper rolls
  43. Matches
  44. Toe and fingernail clippings
  45. Urine (only a minimal amount!)
  46. 100% Cotton cotton balls
  47. Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
  48. Cardboard tampon applicators (yuck!)
  49. Latex condoms
  50. Laundry

  51. Lint from the dryer
  52. Old/stained cotton clothing (ripped or cut up)
  53. Old wool clothing (ripped or cut up)
  54. Wool socks (ripped or cut up)
  55. Office

  56. Shredded Bills and documents
  57. Envelopes (Without the plastic window)
  58. Pencil shavings
  59. Post-it notes
  60. Elmer’s glue
  61. Business cards (Not the glossy kind)
  62. Receipts
  63. Outdoors

  64. Wood chips
  65. Grass clippings
  66. Pine needles
  67. Seaweed and Kelp
  68. Leaves
  69. Tree bark
  70. Clay soil
  71. Old leather gardening gloves (ripped up)
  72. Sawdust
  73. Leftovers from the garden
  74. Pets

  75. Fur from the dog
  76. Fur from the cat
  77. Rabbit/gerbil/hamsters, etc. droppings/bedding
  78. Bird cage dropping/newspaper
  79. Feathers
  80. Alfalfa hay or pellets
  81. Rawhide dog chews
  82. Fish food
  83. Fish scraps
  84. Dead jellyfish, starfish, etc.
  85. Crab shells
  86. Dry dog food
  87. Dry cat food
  88. Other: Around the house

  89. Vacuum cleaner bag or canister contents
  90. Newspapers (shredded or ripped up)
  91. Subscription cards from magazines
  92. Trimmings from houseplants
  93. Dead houseplants and their soil
  94. Flowers from floral arrangements
  95. Natural potpourri
  96. Used matches
  97. Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pit
  98. Wrapping paper rolls
  99. Paper table cloths
  100. Crepe paper streamers
  101. Latex balloons
  102. Raffia
  103. Halloween Jack o’ Lanterns
  104. Hay bales used as part of your outdoor fall decoration
  105. Natural holiday wreaths
  106. Christmas tree (Chopped up)
  107. Evergreen garlands

It’s fun to watch how fast the compost pile grows when you are taking advantage of all things compostable!


  1. says

    OK LOVE IT! I so need to print this out. Thanks again! I’ll link to this in my next compost update – which I hope to have up tomorrow. I only started in April when my husband finally got tired of me tossing fruit/veggie remains down the back hill (he’s not really into the whole save the environment thing) into the woods and bought me a tumbler. We don’t really have a spot to build a bin so this tumbler thing works for now :)

    PS…I brushed both cats today and put their hair in my compost bucket.

  2. Paula@One Mom's Corner of the World says

    This is a really great list! We compost some but need to do a lot better. I see a lot of things that I’ll start adding.

    • says

      Thanks for including us in your post! I am sooo glad you got worms Aleksandra! Haha.. I get excited about all the little things, compost progress and worms! Can’t wait to hear more about the Sunchips bag!!!!!

  3. Alicia says

  4. Beth says

    I’ve been composting for 3 years now, and people are always amazed at the things that can be tossed in.

    Our city just introduced curb-side pickup of “green bins” and now I can toss in bones, meat, dairy, parchment paper, cardboard, vacuum canister contents, etc.

    I keep a separate compost bucket for our backyard that gets the “good” stuff: fur, hair, nail clippings, fruits, veg, egg shells, drier lint, tea bags, coffee grounds (I take them home from the office), toothpicks, used paper towels, sweeping from floors, cat litter (and things found in the cat litter), etc

    Glad you posted that extensive list. I had no idea about the laytex condoms, post-in notes or glue … interesting stuff.

  5. says

    Hi there

    Just found you through Wobble over Wednesday. I’m following you now – looking forward to reading more interesting posts! So many things I never knew could be composted!! Thanks for sharing this!

  6. says

    I love your “environment” section… hits home for me. We actually have 12 lovely hens in our backyard. They get all our kitchen compost and leftovers, love it, and then give us beautiful eggs for breakfast in the morning! Great deal, it´s a win, win situation. We recycle the rest, or compost what our hens can´t eat. Loving your blog! Clau

  7. Carol says

    Does it matter if it’s a worm compost bin? That’s what we have and I don’t want to kill my worms! Thanks for this info!

  8. sue says

    I am new to composting…as of yesterday! I have been doing a lot of research on the computer tho and I have read that GLUE is not a good thing to compost…is that true (like what about the glue that holds boxes together?)? ALSO…..lists have said DO NOT ADD DAIRY but then I see people putting cheese and other dairy products on the “compost” list. Can you please help me so I have a successful compost??? I want to be able to follow only ONE SITE, and I am hoping this is the one :) Thank you so much.

    • says

      Sue, I haven’t put glue in our compost, because I don’t have glue around to do so… but I researched a lot before making this list and it seems okay as long as it is just a fraction of your compost mix. I DO however put dairy in our compost in small amounts. We have a thriving garden to show! I know a lot of people say no dairy, and generally for the newbie, I would say that too… but if you are careful to only do it in small amounts, my personal opinion is it is okay to do so! (I should also tell you we have a compost container that pre-composts on our counter and then a physical composter that spins in our backyard – So maybe for those that just have a pile in their yard this wouldn’t be good because of pests. No pests can get to ours in the sealed spinner.) How that helps!

  9. Scott says

    Lint from the dryer: You can NOT compost lint unless all of your clothes do not contain any polyesters, lycra, spandex or other synthetic fibers. Pretty much all socks and underwear do. Manufacturers are allowed to say 100% cotton or whatever if it’s close enough but you’d be putting plastic in the compost. Be sure.

  10. TheBingeThinker says

    GREAT article… A few in there that I didn’t know about. Thank you!
    I wanted to warn everyone about the receipts though. They are coated with BPA, which is a potent toxin and endocrine disruptor (think of whacked out hormones and related disorders, including hormonally induced cancers). These items should not only be handled as little as possible, but they should not go in compost (or the environment at all for that matter).


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