If you’re composting, you’re doing a very good thing for the earth. If you’re composting the proper way, you’re doing an even better thing! There are things that don’t belong in your compost bin and which belong in waste containers instead. Here is a list of some of those items.
- Pet Waste
Although pet waste (that of cats and dogs) can be composted, it takes a separate container altogether. Chicken, horse, sheep and rabbit poop make terrific compost, and will create rich organic matter your soil will love. Poop from dogs and cats and other carnivores often contains parasites that you definitely don’t want to introduce to the soil in which you’re growing anything you’ll ultimately be eating. There are composters available for pet waste.
- Tea and Coffee Bags
Tea leaves and coffee grounds are welcome additions to any compost bin, but only if they are bagless. In other words, you must remove the inner contents from any bags or containers prior to adding them to your compost bin. The bags belong in waste containers. Some of these bags are made from synthetics that you don’t want in your soil, and that won’t break down in a compost pile.
- Onions and Citrus Peels
Your compost bin won’t take kindly to citrus peels or onions. They have natural acids and chemicals that can kill microorganisms and worms (if you’re using them to compost), and make the decomposition process incredibly slow. If you are using worm bins (one of the best ways to compost in an apartment), don’t put in onions, garlic or citrus peels, as they will kill your worms.
- Meat and Fish Scraps
The rationale behind this stems from smell rather than anything else. Fish and meat scraps decompose well, but they’re magnets for animals like racoons, foxes, rats, mice and even neighbourhood cats. You could also get bigger foragers like bears and coyotes if you live in their neck of the woods. These guys will destroy your compost bins if they smell meat or fish in them.
- Stickers on Veggies and Fruit
Those bothersome stickers or price tags on some fruits and vegetables aren’t biodegradable. Since they’re usually small, look carefully for them before adding fruit and vegetable bits to your compost bin. PLU stickers, as they’re called, will contaminate your compost pile.