What to Compost?

Composting is a great way to recycle lawn clippings and kitchen scraps and close the loop on the growing process. It’s easy and scalable. Just getting started? Go here.

For those of you already hip deep in the process, here are some dos and don’ts on exactly what should be composted.

Composting Dos:

  • Cardboard rolls
  • Clean paper
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Cotton rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Eggshells
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair and fur
  • Hay and straw
  • Houseplants
  • Leaves
  • Nut shells
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Tea bags
  • Wood chips
  • Yard trimmings

Composting Don’ts:

  • Rose Bush Stems, the thorns don’t usually break down as fast as everything else.
  • Coal or charcoal ash
  • Dairy products of any kind
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants
  • Fats, grease, lard, or oils
  • Meat or fish bones and scraps
  • Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter), as it might pass on harmful bacteria or waste
About Peter Dopulos

Peter Dopulos is an avid cyclist and the author of Where to Bike Orange County. He is also the co-host of the Long Beach radio talkshow Swoop's World and a co-founder of GreenWorld365.com.


  1. Thank you for the list of dos and don’ts … I knew most of these but there were a few surprises. I didn’t know about roses and I’m surprised to learn that dryer lint can be composted. For years, I’ve put it in my yard for the birds to use but now I know that I can also put some in my compost bin. Fabulous! Thanks again!

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