Before throwing your kitchen and garden waste in the dumpster, consider adding it to your compost instead. Many people are surprised at just how many different items can be repurposed and used for composting. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you will also benefit from healthy, rich compost that goes right back into your own garden.
All fruit and vegetable scraps are 100% compost-safe and they provide a good source of nitrogen. Instead of throwing your banana peel into the garbage, try adding it to your compost instead; the same goes for the old fruits and vegetables that have gone bad before you had a chance to eat them.
Egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, and oatmeal are also safe to add to compost. It is recommended that you break down the foods as much as possible if you wish to accelerate the composting process. Napkins and paper towels that are not overly dirty can also be added.
Meat and dairy products should never be added to compost, and this includes bones, grease, fats, or oils. Not only will they cause bad smells, but they will attract maggots, flies, rodents, and other unwanted pests.
Rather than stuffing your garden waste bin before trash day, add them to your compost where they will balance out the nitrogen from the fruits and vegetables by adding carbon. Garden waste includes flowers, cuttings, leaves—green or brown, and best shredded—grass clippings, garden plants, and weeds that haven’t gone to seed.
Outside of the kitchen and garden, there is plenty more house waste that can be added to your compost before throwing it out in the garbage. Paper and cardboard trash—including toiler paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and cardboard boxes—can also be shredded and added to the pile. Newspapers are excellent as well; however, you should not add glossy paper or paper covered in a lot of ink since it has ink and dye that can be made with harsh chemicals.
Hair, dryer sheets, cotton/wool rags, and vacuum cleaner bags are also acceptable. If you raise farm animals and feed them a healthy diet, their waste can also be added to the compost. Hair and waste from house pets, such as dogs and cats, should not be added since they harbor microorganisms that can be harmful.
Before throwing waste out, first decide if it can be added to your compost. You can be a friend to the environment and witness the benefits of compost in your own garden.