Things in a Compost Bin

You can make your own compost to nourish your garden soil. The compost that forms as organic waste materials break down adds structure and nutrients to any type of soil and makes your plants healthier and stronger. It also helps in fighting insect infestations. Compost is also a perfect way to recycle organic material that would have been thrown in the trash.

Organic Material

The number one rule of composting organic material is if it was ever alive and growing, then it's safe to use in your compost bin. This includes fruit and vegetables, paper products, eggshells, lawn clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and cardboard. The cork from a wine bottle will safely decompose into the soil in the compost bin because it is made out of tree bark. Adding animal manure and earthworms to the pile of organic material will also nourish the bin and create nutrient-rich compost. Keep in mind when composting organic material that meat is not allowed in the bin. Meat will create a horrible odor and attract rodents and other animals. In addition anything processed, including cheese, should not be included.

Uncommon Material

There are many surprising items you can add to your compost bin. Hair and nail clippings are acceptable and can deter animals while the hair breaks down, but avoid adding dyed hair because of chemicals in the dye. Beer, wine, cotton balls and dust bunnies from your vacuum cleaner can all go into your compost. The yeast in the beer will speed up the decomposition process.

Soil and Water

Put several inches of soil in the bottom of the bin. It doesn't matter what type of soil. Next, pile on your organic and uncommon material. Once or twice a month, turn over the material in the bin with a pitchfork or shovel. This will provide oxygen to the heap, which speeds up the decomposition process. Add water occasionally to keep the pile slightly moist.

Who Can Help

Keywords: things to compost, organic compost material, unusual composting items

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.