This is a very helpful website if you are interested in learning more about composting. As I said here, I am not diligent with my compost, but it does provide a handy place to put kitchen and garden scraps.
Following is a chart listing common composting materials
|Type of Material||Use it?||Carbon/ Nitrogen||Details|
|Algae, seaweed and lake moss||Yes||N||Good nutrient source.|
|Ashes from coal or charcoal||No||n/a||May contain materials bad for plants.|
|Ashes from untreated, unpainted wood||Careful||Neutral||Fine amounts at most. Can make the pile too alkaline and suppress composting.|
|Beverages, kitchen rinse water||Yes||Neutral||Good to moisten the middle of the pile. Don't over-moisten the pile.|
|Bird droppings||Careful||N||May contain weed seeds or disease organisms.|
|Cardboard||Yes||C||Shred into small pieces if you use it. Wetting it makes it easier to tear. If you have a lot, consider recycling instead.|
|Cat droppings or cat litter||No||n/a||May contain disease organisms. Avoid.|
|Coffee ground and filters||Yes||N||Worms love coffee grounds and coffee filters.|
|Compost activator||Not required, but ok.||Neutral||You don't really need it, but it doesn't hurt.|
|Cornstalks, corn cobs||Yes||C||Best if shredded and mixed well with nitrogen rich materials.|
|Diseased plants||Careful||N||If your pile doesn't get hot enough, it might not kill the organisms, so be careful. Let it cure several months, and don't use resulting compost near the type of plant that was diseased.|
|Dryer lint||Yes||C||Compost away! Moistening helps.|
|Eggshells||Yes||O||Break down slowly. Crushing shells helps.|
|Fish scraps||No||n/a||Can attract rodents and cause a stinky pile.|
|Hair||Yes||N||Scatter so it isn't in clumps.|
|Lime||No||n/a||Can kill composting action. Avoid.|
|Manure (horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit)||Yes||N|| |
Great source of nitrogen. Mix with carbon rich materials so it breaks down better.
|Meat, fat, grease, oils, bones||No||n/a||Avoid.|
|Milk, cheese, yogurt||Careful||Neutral||Put it deep in the pile to avoid attracting animals.|
|Newspaper||Yes||C||Shred it so it breaks down easier. It is easy to add too much newspaper, so recycle instead if you have a lot. Don't add slick colored pages.|
|Oak leaves||Yes||C||Shredding leaves helps them break down faster. They decompose slowly. Acidic.|
|Sawdust and wood shavings (untreated wood)||Yes||C||You'll need a lot of nitrogen materials to make up for the high carbon content. Don't use too much, and don't use treated woods.|
|Pine needles and cones||Yes||C|| |
Don't overload the pile. Also acidic and decomposes slowly.
Dry them out on the pavement, then add later.
|Sod||Careful||N||Make sure the pile is hot enough, so grass doesn't continue growing.|