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What Goes Into a Compost Bin?

By Sandi Stritch ; Updated September 21, 2017
Fruit Scraps Can be Composted
"fruit" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: theogeo (Lindsey T) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Composting allows gardeners to turn inedible fruits and vegetable scraps into organic garden fertilizer. Many food items that are frequently thrown away can be composted, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills while producing something that's useful.

Types of Compostable Materials

As you cook, set aside scraps for the compost bin. Vegetable peelings, fruit cores and peels, egg shells, teabags, coffee grounds and grain-based items like breads and cereals can all be composted.

Newspapers, paperboard, and scrap paper (if undyed and non-glossy) can also be shredded and composted.

Function of Compost

When decomposed, these materials slowly turn into compost. Compost is a natural, organically based fertilizer. Starting a home compost bin will allow you to fertilize your garden organically for free.


Always keep an eye out for things you can compost. Many items that are frequently thrown away, like cardboard boxes and banana peels, can be added to a compost pile and kept out of the trash. Consider setting aside a small kitchen container to keep these scraps until you're ready to add them to your outside compost bin.

Time Frame

Composting is a slow process; it may take six months to a year for your compost to be ready to use. That's why many people keep two bins, one for older compost that's in the process of maturing, another to add their daily compost scraps to. If you do that, you'll rarely be without usable compost.

Benefits of Composting

Composting helps you to save money while reducing your environmental footprint. Adding composting to your daily routine will eliminate your need for commercial fertilizers and provide you with a free source of nutrition for your flower or vegetable garden.


About the Author


Sandi Stritch specializes in alternative health and mental-health topics. She has more than five years experience working in a psychiatric hospital. Valentine began writing online in 2007 with pieces appearing in "The Main ARTery" and "In the Panhandle." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Shepherd University.