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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:17 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Jamestown, NC
First of all, I am new here and think I will enjoy being a member. I think I am pretty knowledgeable about the correct things to put into my compost pile but I came across this list that I think has a few questionable items (dairy products, soggy cereal, canned vegetable liquid, etc). I was wondering what everyone thought about these items and anything else you see on here that might catch your eye.

Paper napkins
Freezer-burned vegetables
Burlap coffee bags
Pet hair
Potash rock
Post-it notes
Freezer-burned fruit
Wood chips
Bee droppings
Lint from behind refrigerator
Popcorn (unpopped, 'Old Maids,' too)
Freezer-burned fish
Old spices
Pine needles
Matches (paper or wood)
Seaweed and kelp
Chicken manure
Leather dust
Old, dried up and faded herbs
Bird cage cleanings
Paper towels
Brewery wastes
Grass clippings
Hoof and horn meal
Molasses residue
Potato peelings
Unpaid bills
Gin trash (wastes from cotton plants)
Rabbit manure
Hair clippings from the barber
Stale bread
Coffee grounds
Wood ashes
Tea bags and grounds
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Cow manure
Winter rye
Grapefruit rinds
Pea vines
Houseplant trimmings
Old pasta
Grape wastes
Garden soil
Powdered/ground phosphate rock
Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
Jell-o (gelatin)
Blood meal
Winery wastes
Spanish moss
Fish meal
Aquarium plants
Beet wastes
Sunday comics
Harbor mud
Felt waste
Wheat straw
Peat moss
Kleenex tissues
Milk (in small amounts)
Soy milk
Tree bark
Starfish (dead ones!)
Melted ice cream
Flower petals
Pumpkin seeds
Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
Expired flower arrangements
Elmer's glue
BBQ'd fish skin
Bone meal
Citrus wastes
Stale potato chips
Rhubarb stems
Old leather gardening gloves
Tobacco wastes
Bird guano
Hog manure
Dried jellyfish
Wheat bran
Guinea pig cage cleanings
Nut shells
Cattail reeds
Granite dust
Moldy cheese
Shredded cardboard
Dolomite lime
Cover crops
Quail eggs (OK, I needed a 'Q' word)
Rapeseed meal
Bat guano
Fish scraps
Tea bags (black and herbal)
Apple cores
Electric razor trimmings
Kitchen wastes
Outdated yogurt
Toenail clippings
Shrimp shells
Crab shells
Lobster shells
Pie crust
Leather wallets
Onion skins
Bagasse (sugar cane residue)
Watermelon rinds
Date pits
Goat manure
Olive pits
Peanut shells
Burned oatmeal (sorry, Mom)
Lint from clothes dryer
Bread crusts
Cooked rice
River mud
Tofu (it's only soybeans, man!)
Wine gone bad (what a waste!)
Banana peels
Fingernail and toenail clippings
Chocolate cookies
Wooden toothpicks
Moss from last year's hanging baskets
Stale breakfast cereal
'Dust bunnies' from under the bed
Pencil shavings
Wool socks
Artichoke leaves
Leather watch bands
Fruit salad
Tossed salad (now THERE's tossing it!)
Brown paper bags
Soggy Cheerios
Theater tickets
Lees from making wine
Burned toast
Animal fur
Horse manure
Vacuum cleaner bag contents
Coconut hull fiber
Old or outdated seeds
Macaroni and cheese
Liquid from canned vegetables
Liquid from canned fruit
Old beer
Wedding bouquets
Greeting card envelopes
Dead bees and flies
Horse hair
Peanut butter sandwiches
Dirt from soles of shoes, boots
Fish bones
Ivory soap scraps
Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
Produce trimmings from grocery store
Cardboard cereal boxes (shredded)
Grocery receipts
Urine (It's true! Read the letters below)

I am serious about my vegetable garden

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
Posts: 1793
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
What an odd list? Sounds like something Shel Silverstein kept to draw from for his imaginative poems. (See "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out."

The compost can be very forgiving, and if you occasionally have any of those organic materials ("the list") and you bury them in the pile, they'll break down. Keeping in mind that too much of just about anything can alter the makeup of the pile. Mud, mineral rocks, I probably wouldn't add them to the pile, and some of the items listed, in even modest quantities, could be difficult to manage. How many feathers and burlap coffee bags did the list maker have in mind?

I end up with paper in my compost sometimes, the shreddings from the house. If I was using newspaper in the garden, it can end up in the compost. The best response is probably to look at the list for ideas, but use common sense when building up the compost pile.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:03 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Salem, OR
Snow?!?!?! Yes, I read the whole list. LOL

I'm really new at this, and promptly lost the booklet to the beautiful tumbling composting bin my husband got me as an anniversary present, I wouldn't use any meaty/fishy/oily/dairy on my compost bin. But then again, I wouldn't put any processed foods in it, either.

[eta] Reading further I have found out that shrimp shells and ground up dinner rolls can go into a compost bin.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:48 pm
Posts: 45
Location: California, San Joaquin Valley - home of 105* summers, foggy winters.
The things I mostly avoid are things that are too salty or things with alcohol. I probably wouldn't put in BBQ'd stuff simply for the salt content, but we do shred our junk mail and add that to the pile.

Things that have died in the fridge or freezer (aka moldy or freezer burned) are a definite "go" unless it's too salty. I have been known to add some dairy and/or meat, but in small amounts. I don't think the compost minds too much, but not putting in a lot of meat or dairy does keep the cats and other feral animals away.

I don't have hoof and horn meal on hand, but I have been known to put hair clippings in the compost. Lint from the clothes dryer may be good, but I avoid it, 'cause synthetics (polyester) won't break down.

I'd save the old beer for catching snails/slugs and the Ivory soap scraps can be eliminated by pasting them onto new bars until they stick and become one.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:31 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Allen, TX
I think you can compost almost anything if your pile is hot enough and active. My compost is very slow, and I'm not very interested in making it work fast, so I avoid things that attract pests.

Brian Gallimore in Allen, Texas
Citizen Gardener, Permaculturist, Master Naturalist, NorthTexasVegetableGardeners

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:40 pm
Posts: 195
I think you should experement and figure out what breaks down,I always put dryer lint on the very top,so the birds can carry it off for nesting material,old flour,sugar,baking powder,etc. always goes in my pile.Shredded paper,junk mail(non plastic window side),goes in the pile,all out of date or frezzer burn products,cereal,etc. goes in the pile and gets burried,all coffee filters and tea bags go in my pile,all fruit scraps,old salad,apple cores,corn cobs,etc. goes in the pile.I also have about 200-500 worms in my pile and I water and turn about every 2 weeks. :)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
Posts: 1793
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
I'd save the old beer for catching snails/slugs and the Ivory soap scraps can be eliminated by pasting them onto new bars until they stick and become one.

I don't have a problem with old beer at my house! And it seems the snails like the fresh stuff also (stale beer doesn't work). :lol:

Compost is pretty flexible. Last week I had about a pint of older yogurt (plain) that had accidentally frozen that I wasn't going to eat, so I stirred it into a bucket of water and knocked out any chunks and pourt that over the compost. Dissolving that way was more to keep my dogs out of the compost.

If you put in more "attractive" food items, remember the dog poop tea trick if you want to at least keep your own pooches out of it.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
From the list I would leave out the unpaid bills. Pay them and then they become paid bills and you can compost the stubs.

When you get enough experience to keep a hot pile with absolutely no odor escaping, then you can safely move on to advance composting of meats. Otherwise anything else in that list is fine for people learning how to do it.

David Hall
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum

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