The Warning For Gardeners: 24 Things to You Should Not Throw Into the Compost Bin

4. Bread

While the components in bread might add nutrients to your finished compost, the problem lies in the fact that the smell may draw pests and insects. Tossing leftover toast is the perfect way to attract raccoons and other hungry critters to your yard while also creating a smell that no one in the area will appreciate.

A little bread now and then won’t hurt your compost, but a few crusts are different than a loaf of bread every week.

5. Dairy Products

Anything that comes from milk should never be added to your compost. That includes things such as yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Not only can the smell from rotting dairy products attract pests, as things such as yogurt sit in the bin, they’ll spread diseases.

6. Eggs

Eggs are another item that attracts pests. That said, if you have the appropriate mix of green to brown in your compost, you can usually get away with adding a few eggs to your bin.

7. Rice

Rice, too, falls in the category of food that might seem acceptable in compost at first glance, but think again. It fosters bacteria that can be harmful to your compost. Both cooked and uncooked rice should be tossed in the garbage (or fed to your livestock).

8. Onions and Garlic

If you toss in a few onion peels, I promise you won’t ruin your compost, so don’t run out worrying. But onions and garlic have a chemical and pH balance that is harmful to the worms working hard to break down your compost pile. Leave onion and garlic waste in the trash.

9. Glossy or Coated Paper

You can add many different paper products, such as newspapers, old paper towels, tissues, and shredded cardboard, to your compost piles. After all, paper does come from trees.

That said, not all paper is created equal. Many types are treated with a plastic-like coating, creating a bright and glossy look. For example, magazines contain glossy and coated paper. The chemicals used to cover the paper contain toxins and aren’t appropriate for a compost pile.

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