A List of Items to Avoid in Your Backyard Compost Pile

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Compost Bin

What CAN Be Home Composted

Please do NOT Compost these items:

  • Meat, bones, fish (produce odors and attract animals)
  • Milk products, such as butter, milk, yogurt, sour cream (produce odors and attract animals)
  • Eggs, grease, oils, lard (produce odors and attract animals)
  • Pet and human feces, dirty diapers, tampons, personal care products (may contain pathogens harmful to humans and plants)
  • Plant material treated w/ herbicides/pesticides
  • Pressure-treated lumber (has toxic chemicals)
  • Lime (can cause ammonia gas releases)
  • Diseased plants and leaves (could cause disease to spread when compost is applied)
  • Persistent weeds (bermuda grass, alligator weed, dock weed, kudzu, ivy, dandelions)
  • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs (contains juglone, a natural aromatic compound toxic to some plants)
  • Heavily coated paper such as magazines, catalogs, wrapping paper, greeting cards with metallic inks
  • Dryer sheets made of polyester covered in chemicals
  • Pine needles (high in acid and resin; hard to compost)
  • Wood ash (too alkaline; can slow composting process and release ammonia)
  • Charcoal ash or coal (may contain substances harmful to plants)
  • Used facial or toilet tissue (may contain pathogens)

A Complete list of what to add and what not to add