What to compost

What to compost

For composting to work properly you need green nitrogen rich ingredients, which add moisture and brown carbon rich ingredients that create air pockets.

The key to getting this right lies in balancing the greens and browns in a 50:50 mix. If your compost is too wet and gives off an odour, add more browns. If it’s too dry and is not rotting, add some greens.

Greens (nitrogen rich)

  • Vegetable peelings
  • Salad leaves
  • Grass cuttings
  • Old flowers and dead plants
  • Tea leaves and bags
  • Animal manure with straw
  • Citrus peel
  • Coffee grounds and filter paper
  • Cut flowers
  • Fruit peelings and pulp
  • Hay
  • Hedge clippings
  • House plants
  • Old bedding plants
  • Soft prunings and plant debris

Browns (carbon rich)

  • Dried leaves
  • Twigs
  • Wood chippings
  • Straw
  • Egg shells and boxes
  • Vacuum bag contents
  • Toilet/ kitchen roll tubes
  • Scrunched up paper
  • Shredded paper
  • Cardboard
  • Cotton wool
  • Hair
  • Natural corks
  • Paper bags
  • Sweetcorn cobs
  • Thorny prunings
  • Wood ash

Wrong ingredients

  • Meat and fish scraps
  • Bread
  • Diseased plants
  • Bones
  • Dairy products
  • Dog food
  • Used tissues
  • Dog mess or cat litter
  • Nappies
  • Cigarette ends
  • Coal ash
  • Drink cartons
  • Olive oil

Find out about food digesters, which can compost all your food waste.