Composting Dos and Don’ts | Reader's Digest

Composting Dos and Don’ts

Skip pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Dryer lint can be composted, and so can old rags. Here, a list of what to use as plant food rather than landfill.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Did you know dryer lint was compostable? How about old rags? Find out what other household items can (or can’t) be turned into plant food rather than landfill…

Do Compost:

  • Fruit and veggie scraps
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Nut shells
  • Tea bags
  • Pesticide-free leaves, grass, yard plant trimmings, and houseplants
  • Paper, shredded newspaper, and paper towel & toilet rolls
  • Rags (cotton or wool)
  • Vacuum and dryer lint
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Hair and animal fur
  • Sawdust, wood chips, hay, and straw


Don’t Compost:

  • Dairy products or eggs
  • Fats, oils, lard, or grease
  • Meat or fish scraps (or bones)
  • Plants infested with insects or treated with pesticides
  • Charcoal ash from the barbecue
  • Animal waste or cat litter
  • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides

Visit the Environmental Protection Agency online to learn more about composting and for more information on this list of don’ts.

See also:
Green Tips for a Growing a Non-Toxic Lawn
Bring Your Garden to Life: Tips to Revitalize and Enrich Your Space
Money-Saving Ideas for Plant and Flower Food

Source: EPA.gov

  • Your Comments

    • Myname_lyndil

      i totally disagree with what you posted on Don’t Compost: Fat, Oil, Lard, and grease, as well as animal waste. there’s a method of composting this waste and we’ve been using this in our company…