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Compost Checklist

making compost

Compost is easy to make, it’s free, and it’s a great way to recycle organic household and garden waste. Use this comprehensive list of materials you can and can’t compost to make sure you get the best results from your heap.

You can compost

  • Fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea leaves
  • Unbleached tea bags
  • Stale bread
  • Eggshells
  • Dead flowers
  • Sawdust
  • Vacuum cleaner dust and hair
  • Shredded paper and cardboard
  • Natural fibres (like wool and cotton)
  • Leather
  • Grass cuttings, non-woody prunings (woody prunings need to be shredded first) and leaves

You shouldn’t compost

  • Meat, fish and bones
  • Cooking oil and fats
  • Cooked food
  • Dairy products
  • Glossy paper like magazines
  • Synthetic fabrics
  • Diseased plant material
  • Weeds with seed heads
  • Perennial roots (roots of plants lasting 3 seasons or more such as dandelions)
  • Sharp or thorny materials (you don’t want to risk cutting yourself)
  • Dog and cat waste


You can safely compost cooked food, meat, fish and dairy if you use the Bokashi Composting System. But, if in doubt, leave it out. Anything you’re not sure of can be sent to your local green waste recycling facility.

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