What goes in the Backyard Composter

Place a thick layer of coarse organic material, such as straw, leaves and branch cuttings at the bottom of the compost bin for air circulation. Put waste such as grass clippings in. Dig kitchen scraps into the centre and cover with a layer of soil or leaves. Try to add equal amounts of green (nitrogen-rich) material, such as kitchen scraps and grass clippings, and brown (carbon-rich) material, such as leaves and straw.

Greens (nitrogen-rich)

  • Bread (no butter, oil)
  • Coffee filters
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Evergreen needles
  • Flowers
  • Fruit peels
  • Fruit scraps
  • Grass
  • House plants
  • Leaves
  • Nut shells
  • Pasta
  • Rice and other grains
  • Tea bags
  • Tea leaves
  • Vegetable peels
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Weeds (before they go to seed

Browns (carbon-rich)

  • Dryer lint
  • Hair
  • Hay
  • Manure
  • Mulched leaves
  • Newspaper
  • Paper packaging
  • Sawdust (non-treated wood)
  • Shredded paper
  • Straw
  • Vacuum lint
  • Wood chips

What does not go in the composter

  • Bones
  • Charcoal
  • Chemically-treated grass clipping
  • Coal ashes
  • Cooking oils
  • Crabgrass
  • Dairy products
  • Diapers
  • Diseased or insect-infested plants
  • Fats
  • Fish scraps
  • Glass
  • Grease
  • Lime
  • Meat
  • Metal
  • Pet waste
  • Plastic
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Sanitary products
  • Walnut shells
  • Walnut leaves
  • Weeds with mature seeds
  • Wood ashes
  • Woody yard waste

A starter is not needed in the composter.