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  • Writer's pictureKat Nigro

46 Things You Didn't Know Were Compostable

Composting is one of the easiest ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. It may come as a surprise, but a considerable amount of the waste that people discard each day can be composted. In America, approximately 30% of the typical household waste stream is compostable.

We've put together this list of 46 not-so-obvious compostable items.

Note: Some of these items (labeled with *) are not recommended for back yard compost piles, and should only be composted in an industrial scale setting due to the heat and monitoring practices used in professional methods. You can read more about the difference between backyard and professional composting here.

From the kitchen:
  • Coffee grounds and filters

  • Tea bags

  • Egg shells

  • Fruit pits and cores

  • Freezer-burned fruits and vegetables

  • Expired milk*

  • Moldy cheese*

  • Melted ice cream*

  • Outdated yogurt*

  • Meats bones and fish*

  • Used paper napkins

  • Cooked pasta or rice

  • Stale bread and cereal

  • Used paper plates (as long as they don't have a waxy coating)

  • Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which can be toxic to plants)

  • Expired herbs and spices

  • Natural wine corks*

  • Stale beer

  • Wine

  • Wood toothpicks

  • Bamboo skewers

  • Pizza crusts

  • Pizza boxes

  • Paper cupcake or muffin cups

  • Paper fast food packaging* with no waxy or shiny surface

  • Candies, cookies, and cake*

  • Seaweed and kelp

  • Certified Compostable Products (BPI Certified)*

From the bathroom:
  • Used facial tissues*

  • 100% cotton balls (no synthetic fabrics)

Around the house:
  • Pencil shavings

  • Leaves trimmed from houseplants

  • Natural potpourri

  • Dead houseplants

  • Old soil from houseplants

  • Flowers from floral arrangements

  • Used matches

  • Sawdust

Party and holiday supplies:
  • Soiled paper table cloths

  • Jack o' Lanterns (no paint or synthetic materials added)

  • Natural holiday wreaths

  • Evergreen garlands


  • Feathers

  • Rawhide dog chews*

  • Old Fish food*

  • Expired dry dog or cat food*


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