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12 things you Should never compost

Vegetable gardening is greatly enhanced with adding organic matter formed by composting.  I recently wrote an article which talked about a long list of weird things that you can compost which you might not think about.  Today, I am doing to discuss those things you should never compost.Not everything can be added to a compost pile. See my list of 12 common household items that you don't compost.

If you enjoy vegetable gardening, you will know how much better your vegetables will grow if you add compost around them.  The organic matter nourishes both the soil and the plant, resulting in healthy plants and high yields.

Even though recycling and composting are 2 very important green practices to follow, there are definitely some items that are bad for the environment and should be avoided. 

Never Compost these 12 items.

There are lots of common and not so common items that can be composted.  Fortunately the list of items that you should NOT add to the compost pile is not too long and makes quite a bit of sense.  For best results do not compost these items:

  • Pet waste from carnivorous animals.  Manure is fine but pet feces from dogs and cats is a definite no no.  Your cat or dog feces can introduce parasites, which is the last thing you want to be adding to any garden meant for human consumption.
  • Meat scraps and bones.  Most kitchen refuse if fine for the compost pile, but you will want to avoid any left over meat and bones, which can attract vermin. Adding these also would make for a very foul smelling compost pile.Don't add meat scraps and bones to the compost pile
  • Grease and oil.  Does not break down and can coat materials in the pile. Also attracts pests.
  • Diseased plants and weeds with seeds.  Throw these in the trash or you risk transferring fungal or bacterial problems to plants you treat with the finished compost.Don't compost weeds with seeds attached
  • Chemically treated wood, since the chemicals might leach into the compost.
  • Milk products are attractive to vermin so should be avoided.Milk products can attract vermin so they should not be composted
  • Glossy paper.  This is better off recycled instead of composted.
  • Sawdust. I know this is tempting but unless you know for sure that the wood was not treated with chemicals, avoid using it on the compost pile.Pile of sawdust
  • Walnut shells.  These contain juglone, which is a natural aromatic compound toxic to some plants.
  • This goes without saying but aerosols, chemicals, batteries and other materials like this are a big no no.
  • Plastic bags, lined cardboard boxes,plastic cups (including garden pots), plastic plant tags, plastic seal ties, plastic labels on fruit.  None of these will break down in a compost pile.Colorful plastic cups
  • Used personal products such as tampons, diapers and items soiled in blood are a health risk.

Keep this in mind. You are trying to compost green and brown materials.  Green is something which is living.  Brown is something that used to be living.

For my list of weird things that you can compost, see this article.

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On the spot composting with brown lunch bags.
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