100 Things To Compost

Want composting in Ocean City? Sign the online form.

Composting is far more than just free fertilizer for the garden. It’s a vital and necessary sustainability strategy for reducing waste, closing the nutrient cycle, and preventing air pollution that causes climate change.

Composting can remove 20-50% from your household waste stream, reducing the burden on landfills while replenishing your lawn, trees, houseplants, or garden for free. (And if you pay for trash pick-up, composting can save you money there, too.)

When organic matter like food waste goes to the landfill, it ends up decomposing anaerobically—or without oxygen. This process creates methane, a greenhouse gas 20-35 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming our planet. Landfills are the United States’ third largest source of methane emissionsaccording to the EPA.

From the Kitchen

  1. Fruit and vegetable scraps
  2. Egg shells (crushed)
  3. Coffee grounds
  4. Coffee filters
  5. Tea bags (Make sure they are made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, and not rayon or other synthetics. If in doubt, just open it and compost the tea leaves alone.)
  6. Loose leaf tea
  7. Spoiled soy/rice/almond/coconut milk
  8. Used paper napkins and paper towels
  9. Unwaxed cardboard pizza boxes (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  10. Paper bags (shredded)
  11. The crumbs you sweep off of the counters and floors
  12. Cooked pasta
  13. Cooked rice
  14. Stale bread, pitas, or tortillas
  15. Stale tortilla chips or potato chips
  16. Spoiled pasta sauce or tomato paste
  17. Crumbs from the bottom of snack food packaging
  18. Paper towel rolls (shredded)
  19. Stale crackers
  20. Stale cereal
  21. Cardboard boxes from cereal, pasta, etc. (Remove any plastic windows and shred)
  22. Used paper plates (as long as they don’t have a waxy coating)
  23. Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which are toxic to plants)
  24. Spoiled tofu and tempeh
  25. Seaweed, kelp or nori
  26. Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels
  27. Old herbs and spices
  28. Stale pretzels
  29. Stale candy (crushed or chopped)
  30. Stale protein or “energy” bars
  31. Pizza crusts
  32. Old oatmeal
  33. Peanut shells
  34. Cardboard egg cartons (cut them up)
  35. Stale pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds (chopped up so they can’t sprout)
  36. Avocado pits (chopped up so they don’t sprout)
  37. Wine corks (chop up so they decompose faster)
  38. Moldy cheese (in moderation)
  39. Melted ice cream (in moderation)
  40. Old jelly, jam, or preserves
  41. Stale beer and wine
  42. Toothpicks
  43. Bamboo skewers (break them into pieces)
  44. Paper cupcake or muffin cups

From the Bathroom

  1. Used facial tissues
  2. Hair from your hairbrush
  3. Trimmings from an electric razor
  4. Toilet paper rolls (shredded)
  5. Old loofahs (cut up, natural only)
  6. Nail clippings
  7. 100% latex or lambskin condoms
  8. 100% cotton cotton balls
  9. Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton and cardboard (not plastic) sticks
  10. 100% cotton tampons and sanitary pads (including used)
  11. Cardboard tampon applicators
  12. Menstrual blood
  13. Urine

From the Laundry Room

  1. Dryer lint (from 100% natural fabrics only!)
  2. Old cotton clothing and jeans (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  3. Cotton fabric scraps (shredded)
  4. Old wool clothing (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  5. Old cotton towels and sheets (shredded)

From the Office

  1. Bills and other plain paper documents (shredded)
  2. Envelopes (shredded, minus the plastic window)
  3. Pencil shavings
  4. Sticky notes (shredded)
  5. Old business cards (shredded, as long as they’re not glossy)

Around the House

  1. “Dust bunnies” from wood and tile floors
  2. Contents of your dustpan (pick out any inorganic stuff, like pennies and Legos)
  3. Crumbs from under your couch cushions (again, pick out any inorganic stuff)
  4. Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
  5. Junk mail (shredded, remove coated paper and plastic windows)
  6. Subscription cards from magazines (shredded)
  7. Burlap sacks (cut or torn into small pieces)
  8. Old rope and twine (chopped, natural, unwaxed only)
  9. Leaves trimmed from houseplants
  10. Dead houseplants and their soil
  11. Flowers from floral arrangements
  12. Natural potpourri
  13. Used matches
  14. Ashes from untreated wood burned in the fireplace, grill, or outdoor fire pits (in very small amounts)
  15. Grass clippings
  16. Dead autumn leaves
  17. Sawdust (from plain wood that has NOT been pressure-treated, stained or painted)

Party and Holiday Supplies

  1. Wrapping paper rolls (cut into smaller pieces)
  2. Paper table cloths (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
  3. Crepe paper streamers (shredded)
  4. Latex balloons
  5. Jack O’lanterns (smashed)
  6. Those hay bales you used as part of your outdoor fall decor (broken apart)
  7. Natural holiday wreaths (chop up with pruners first)
  8. Christmas trees (chop up with pruners first, or use a wood chipper, if you have one…)
  9. Evergreen garlands (chop up with pruners first)

Pet-Related

  1. Fur from the dog or cat brush
  2. Droppings and bedding from your rabbit, gerbil, hamster, etc.
  3. Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird or snake cage
  4. Feathers
  5. Horse, cow or goat manure
  6. Alfalfa hay or pellets (usually fed to rabbits, gerbils, etc.)
  7. Dry dog or cat food, fish pellets

Source: Small Footprint Family

Our friends at Infinity Recycling recommend the Earth Machine - check it out!