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Thursday, July 7, 2011

65 things you probably aren't composting but could be

Who says only food scraps and yard waste can be composted?


Now that I've explained the whys and hows, you're all composting, right? If not, you may as well start, because once the food-waste-to-energy plant gets built at the central landfill in Johnston in 2013, food waste will likely become part of the recycling program the way it is in Seattle and San Francisco now.


This list of "things you didn't know you could compost" comes from a blog called Bonzai Aphrodite (via ecoRI environmental news). I've added my own comments/annotations in italics.

  1. Soy/rice/almond/etc. milk
  2. Coffee grounds
  3. Fireplace ash
  4. Nut shells (not walnut)
  5. Toenail clippings
  6. Pet hair
  7. Human hair (home haircut or saved from the barber shop)
  8. Dryer lint
  9. Dust bunnies
  10. Innards of a vacuum bag (empty the bag into the compost)
  11. Burlap sacks
  12. Pumpkin/sunflower/sesame seeds (chop them to ensure they won't grow)
    Or don't. One thing I like about using compost is getting surprise "bonus" plants that sprout from the seeds of foods I've already eaten. We added compost to a houseplant we repotted and now we've got zucchini growing in it.
  13. Toothpicks
  14. Cotton or wool clothes, cut into strips 
    Of course, clothing in good condition should be donated to Big Sisters or one of the many other charities that accept donated clothing.

  15. Stale tortilla chips/potato chips
  16. Stale crackers
  17. Domestic bird and bunny droppings
  18. Old potpourri
  19. Sawdust
  20. Fish food
  21. Dog food
  22. Crumbs
    Or leave them out for the birds.
  23. Flowers
  24. Seaweed/nori/kelp
  25. Peanut shells
  26. Bran (wheat or oat, etc.)
  27. Condoms! (latex only)
  28. Paper towels
  29. Paper napkins
  30. Paper plates (non wax- or plastic-coated)
  31. Trimmings from an electric razor
  32. Teabags/loose-leaf tea
  33. Crepe paper streamers
  34. Q-tips (not the plastic ones)
  35. Old breakfast cereal
  36. Dead houseplants (or their dropped leaves)
  37. Newspaper
  38. Avocado pits (chop them up first)
  39. Frozen fruits and vegetables
  40. Tofu/tempeh
  41. Expired jam or jelly
  42. Feathers
  43. Kleenex (including 'used')
  44. The dead bugs on the windowsill
  45. Pickles
  46. Balloons (latex only)
  47. Eggshells
  48. Coffee filters
  49. Popcorn kernels (the ones at the bottom of the bucket)
  50. Oatmeal
  51. Aquatic plants (from aquariums)
  52. Matches
  53. Old loofas (real, not synthetic)
  54. Tampon applicators (cardboard, not plastic)
  55. Pencil shavings
  56. Holiday wreaths
  57. Bamboo skewers
  58. Old herbs and spices
  59. Pizza boxes (shredded)
  60. Cooked rice
  61. Cooked pasta
  62. Wine corks
  63. Paper muffin/cupcake cups
  64. Cotton balls
  65. Booze! (beer and wine)
    Though it seems like a waste to me to compost it, since it can always be used for cooking when it's no longer drinkable. You're also welcome to drop off extras at my house, lol.
Image by veganfeminazi