Worst food waste items to compost

Composting is a fabulous way to deal with food waste in the home and as a bonus can produce a nutrient-rich compost to use on your garden to improve soil constitution. Leaves, grass clipping and much of your kitchen waste can be included in the composting, but there are some food waste items that are best left out of the home compost bin.

See below 8 of the worst food waste items to compost at home:


1.  Bread, pasta and cakes – any of these types of items may attract unwanted pests.




bones and forks on the plate2.  Meat, fat, bones and fish – while these items will degrade they may be a bacterial hazard and again are very appealing for pests.




Cheese3.  Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream – as with bread and meat products, dairy is highly attractive to pests and flies.




Rice bowl4.  Raw or cooked rice – raw rice can attract insects and rodents while cooked rice is a breeding ground for bad bacteria.




Oil pouring from a bottle.5.  Cooking oil – this could upset the constitution and moisture balance of the compost and may also attract animals as it smells like food to them.




Broken walnuts6.  Walnuts – Walnut trees release a chemical called juglone which is toxic to some vegetables and plants. For best composting results it may be best to leave all types of nuts out of the compost as they may not degrade effectively.




Teabag with green label7.  Tea and coffee bags – tea leaves and coffee grounds are great for the compost but it is best if they are bagless. The bags may contain fibres that difficult to break down.




New GS1 DataBars (Bar Codes) on an Apple8.  Plastic fruit stickers – these are very easy to miss if you are cutting up fruit but try and keep these out of the compost mix as they will not biodegrade.




Items acceptable in commercial food waste composting programmes differ from at home composting due to the industrial composting processes and do accept all of the above items. Click here for further information on commercial food waste collections or contact us.