Composting allows you to turn leftovers into nutrient-rich soil fertilizer, but it’s not a catchall form of disposal! If you put the wrong items inside your compost bin, you’ll wind up attracting unwanted pests and potentially hurting your plants! Become a master composter by keeping these ten items out of your compost bin.
Dairy. Not only will milk, cream, yogurt and other dairy items smell pretty rank once they start to decompose, they’ll attract animals!
Black walnuts. Who’d have thought, right? Walnuts and walnut leaves contain juglone, which is toxic to some plants, so it’s best to keep the nuts out of there!
Wheat products. This includes pasta, cake, breads and pretty much anything else that you bake. These items are all pest magnets (plus, they don’t decompose as well as other items). Think of your compost bin as being on a wheat-free diet.
Most kinds of paper. Printer paper, magazines, colored newspapers, catalogs and envelopes are sometimes treated with chemicals that won’t be kind to your cucumbers and tomatoes. Generally, it’s better to recycle all of your paper rather than composting it, so you don’t risk adding nasty chemicals to your soil.
Meat. Whether it’s chicken, fish or beef, it will smell like a tasty treat to pests and animals.
Rice. After rice is cooked, it basically becomes a love nest for bacteria. In fact, those leftover sushi bits can attract so much bacteria that the plants you’re trying to grow may be affected.
Sawdust. Unless you’re positive that the dust came from untreated wood (or wood treated with all-natural products) sawdust shouldn’t be added to your pile.
Pet waste. This may seem like natural fertilizer, but untreated pet waste can contain parasites and viruses that are capable of harming your plants.
Coal or charcoal. Some types of coal contain petroleum byproducts, which are harmful to plants and should be avoided.
Diseased or sick plants. This one is obvious when you think about it – those diseases could be transferred to your healthy plants! If any part of your garden or yard comes down with a fungus or other contagious ailment, make sure you keep those pieces out of your compost bin!