Home composting guide

What can go in the home compost bin

Composting is nature's way of turning waste back into nourishment for plants and animals. It happens all around us - in the woods, fields and parks and it can happen in your garden too.

All organic materials - from vegetable peelings and woollen jumpers to pet hair and paper - can be turned into rich compost. As around a third of the waste an average household disposes of is organic, many householders could find that composting fruit and vegetable peelings, leaves and garden waste can make a big difference to how much waste they need to put in the rubbish bin.

Home produced compost improves your soil, reduces the need for artificial fertilizers and means you don’t have to buy any. It is an easy, cheap and practical way to manage your waste and take care of your garden.

You can compost

  • fruit and vegetable peelings
  • grass clippings
  • twig and hedge trimmings
  • leaves
  • tea bags
  • coffee grains
  • pet and human hair
  • feathers
  • vegetarian pet bedding, for example, rabbit and guinea pig
  • crushed eggshells
  • soft cardboard for example, egg cartons and toilet roll tubes
  • shredded paper
  • cut flowers.

Don’t try to home compost meat, dairy or cooked foods. Put these in your food waste caddy or use a bokashi system or food waste digester instead. Vegetable peelings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, stale bread and some food leftovers also work well in a wormery.