100 things you CANNOT Compost!

100 things you CANNOT Compost!

As we know composting is a great act. Your decision to compost is applaudable. You’ve chosen to remove some percentage from your household waste stream. By doing this you are reducing the burden from landfills and mother earth will thank you for this. Now that you’ve made this decision, you need to take it a step further by knowing what should or shouldn’t go into your compost bin. Although anything that was once living can be compostable, there are still over 100 things you CANNOT compost.

Meat scraps, for example, is one thing that is better left out of your compost pile. While they are definitely compostable and beneficial to the soil, adding them will attract scavengers/animals like raccoons, foxes, rats, and even cats. And then there’s all the nasty stink of rotting meat you would do well to avoid.

Now that you know that, I bet you are dying to know if there are other things that shouldn’t be in your compost pile. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a detailed room by room list of things that should NOT go into your compost bin. Enjoy!



  1. Fish and meat scraps: Fish and meat are organic and will definitely enrich your soil but while they are compostable and offer nutritional benefits to your soil, adding them to your compost pile is a sure recipe for disaster. This is because of scavengers like mice, raccoons, rats, foxes, opossums and even cats in your neighborhood. The last thing you would want is these animals ransacking your compost pile and then, there’s all that nasty stink of rotting fish which isn’t inviting.
  2. Cartons/juice boxes with a coating of metal.
  3. Walnuts: they are toxic and should not be added to your compost
  4. Cooking oil: Let’s face it, cooking oil smells like food to insects and animals. What’s worse? They can upset the compost moisture balance and slow down the composting process.
  5. Tomatoes: while they can certainly decompose, there’s a chance they can sprout in your garden.
  6. Dairy products: dairy products like cheese, milk, and butter will benefit your soil but it would also attract rodents to your compost bin. Add only if you used a closed compost bin.
  7. Nylon fabric
  8. Foamed plastic cups
  9. Coated juice boxes
  10. Salad dressing
  11. Peanut butter
  12. Sickly labels on vegetables and fruits: I bet you didn’t see this coming. Well, sticky labels and price tags on vegetables and fruits do not biodegrade because they are made from food-grade vinyl or plastic. Be sure to remove them from food and vegetables before adding them to your compost pile
  13. Coated milk cartons
  14. Water bottles
  15. Grocery bags
  16. Coated cereal cartons
  17. Rayon or synthetic tea bags
  18. Coconuts
  19. Cheese, which attracts rodents
  20. Grease
  21. Fat
  22. Bones
  23. Vacuum bags
  24. Take out containers
  25. Meat trays
  26. Pickles
  27. Grease
  28. Yogurt
  29. Lime has a high alkaline PH and can interfere with the composting process.
  30. Biodegradable coffee cups
  31. Compostable utensils
  32. Sod
  33. Diseased plants
  34. Manure and feces of carnivorous animals: feces of your cats, dogs, and other carnivorous animals must never find its way into your compost bin. This is because they are can carry parasites and pathogens that transmit infectious diseases that are harmful to humans
  35. Leather
  36. Synthetic fertilizers
  37. Bermuda grass
  38. Dock weed
  39. African couch grass
  40. Bindweed
  41. Treated wood products
  42. Morning glory
  43. Rhubarb leaves
  44. Grass clippings or plants treated with herbicides or pesticides
  45. Synthetic fertilizers
  46. Weeds seeds or other weeds which may set down roots and continue to grow in your compost pile.


  1. Paints
  2. Tyres
  3. Cable wires
  4. Metal scraps
  5. Metals


  1. CDs
  2. DVDs
  3. Silver foil
  4. Pen refills


  1. Old towels that are not 100% cotton Plastic combs
  2. Hairdryer
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Face wipes
  5. Personal hygiene products: tissue papers, sanitary pads and any other material stained with human blood should not be found in your compost pile.
  6. Diapers
  7. Store-bought shampoos that contain chemicals
  8. Dryer sheets.
  9. Dental floss
  10. Baby wipes
  11. Store-bought soaps that contain chemicals that will slow down the composting process
  12. Dyes

Study/home office

  1. Elastic bands
  2. The plastic window from envelopes
  3. Glossy and coated papers: Catalogs, colored newspaper, and other paper with a glossy appearance should not be thrown in your compost bin.
  4. Glossy junk mail
  5. Cigarette butts that are made from plastic

Other items around the house

  1. Iron nails
  2. Glass objects
  3. Rocks
  4. Construction materials
  5. Plastic wrap
  6. Glass jars
  7. Treated sawdust: While sawdust is great at absorbing excess moisture in wet compost, it must be untreated, unpainted and unstained. Even so, treated sawdust should be added moderately
  8. Monofilament fishing line
  9. Tin cans
  10. Rubber-boot sole
  11. Plastic bag
  12. Plastic: they will never break down so its best you avoid it.
  13. Metal
  14. Glass
  15. Aluminum foil
  16. Charcoal barbecue
  17. Lint
  18. Straws
  19. Twist ties
  20. Synthetic pesticides or herbicides will upset the chemical balance of your compost pile and most likely kill worms and microorganisms essential to the composting process, so its best you avoid throwing it in.
  21. Bottles
  22. Oleander leaves (are toxic to plants and should not be thrown into your compost bin)
  23. Coated paper
  24. Demolition materials
  25. Dead animals which will contaminate your compost pile


  1. Non-cotton clothing material
  2. Perfumes
  3. Leather wallets and belts


Here it is friends, my helpful list of 100 things you definitely do NOT want to compost. Take care out there!