Friday, April 22, 2011

Surprising Things You Can Compost

Welcome to the world of creative composting. Chances are some of what ends up in your trash could actually be composted so here are three common items you may not know are compostable.

Dryer Lint
Not the belly button variety (he he). Dryer lint consists mainly of cotton fibers and a little pet fur, both of which compost just fine. Unless you exclusively wear polyester track suits (throat clearing sound), the small amount of synthetic fibers will not be noticeable in your finished compost.

Stale Crackers and Cookies
Cookies never make it to the “stale” stage in my house but crackers do on occasion. You can easily crumble these up and toss them in the compost bin. Your grateful bug pals will make them disappear faster than a box of girl scout cookies placed on my kitchen counter (well, almost).

Paper Plates and Napkins
Even if you try to avoid disposables, you’re bound to end up with a few paper plates leftover from parties or impromptu picnics. Unless the plates are greasy, you can just tear them up and toss them in the bin. Same goes for napkins and paper towels. They make a great source of carbon, especially in the summer when you’re running short on dried leaves.

Here are some other items you may consider adding to your composting repertoire:
• Cotton sewing threads
Old beer
• Old soup (non-creamy varieties)
Egg shells
• Dried herbs

Of course, there are many other unusual compostables I may not be thinking of. Do you add anything I haven’t mentioned to your compost bin?


  1. Brown paper bags torn into small pieces compost well for me. And eggshells...

  2. Speaking of pet fur in dryer lint, after brushing my cat, I add her beautiful fur to my compost. It's nice thinking that she helps make my flowers look their best!

  3. Any stale bread, bagels and the like. Seems to me that's been discussed here before. leftover coffee is good, skunky beer, no Bengal's stuff because then your bin will stink!

  4. Thanks for the tips. I never would have thought of dryer lint!