Kitchen Composting Works for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

One of the largest contributors to home-based composting piles is kitchen waste. Scraps from meal preparations as well as cooking supplies can be added to a compost bin and, in turn, contribute to your soil and mulch.

Composting guides generally sort matter into two categories, according to what they contribute to the process; green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon).

A lot of kitchen items are perfect for your pile. Here are just some of the more prevalent compostables from each meal of the day. To view the rest of this list, visit

Photo: Earth911


Apple cores
Banana peels
Burned toast
Coffee grounds
Date pits
Egg shells
Grapefruit rinds
Oatmeal (cooked or raw)
Outdated yogurt
Stale or soggy breakfast cereal
Sunday comics
Tea bags and grounds
Soy milk
Watermelon rinds

Related: Fight Waste, Revive Stale Food with These Tricks


Brown paper bags
Chocolate cookies
Freezer-burned fruit
Fruit salad
Peanut butter sandwiches
Peanut and other nut shells
Pumpkin seeds
Stale potato chips

Read: 5 Ways to Pack a Zero Waste Lunch

Photo: Alexandra Vietti, Earth911


Artichoke leaves
Cooked rice
Fish scraps, such as shrimp shells, crab shells and lobster shells
Freezer-burned vegetables
Old pasta
Olive pits
Onion skins
Pie crust
Potato peelings
Produce trimmings
Rhubarb stems
Seaweed and kelp
Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
Stale bread and bread crusts
Tossed salad


Cardboard cereal boxes
Expired flower arrangements
Grocery receipts
Shredded cardboard
Matches (paper or wood)
Old spices
Paper napkins
Paper towels
Shredded newspapers
Wood chips and ashes
Wooden toothpicks

10 Things in Your Kitchen You Didn’t Know You Could Reuse or Recycle

Nate Lipka

Managing Editor

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Kitchen Composting Works for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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