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School children learning what can and can't be composted

What can go in my compost bin?

Good compost depends on a variety of ingredients to make the right mix. These ingredients are in plentiful supply - did you know that a third of all waste in the average kitchen bin can be composted? You will also find many types of materials in your school which can be composted in a basic compost bin (or compost heap) - but not everything is suitable so check out the list below before you get going.


Yes Please! 

  • Tea bags
  • Grass cuttings
  • Vegetable peelings, fruit scraps and rhuburb leaves
  • Old flowers and nettles
  • Coffee grounds & filter paper
  • Spend bedding plants
  • Young annual weeds
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Egg & cereal boxes
  • Corrugated carboard & newspaper (scrunched up)
  • Toilet and kitchen roll tubes
  • Garden prunings
  • Dry leaves, twigs & hedge clippings
  • Straw & hay
  • Bedding from vegetarian pets
  • Sawdust and wood chippings
  • Wool, Cotton threads, natural fibre clothes and string
  • Feathers
  • Vacuum bag contents
  • Tissues, paper towels and napkins
  • Shredded confidential documents
  • Corn cobs and stalks

No Thanks!



  • Cooked food e.g. meat, pasta, mashed potato
  • Sandwiches
  • Raw meat and fish, including bones
  • Dairy products e.g. yoghurt
  • Diseased plants
  • Weeds with seends
  • Metals
  • Plastic items
  • Glass items


(You can compost some of the items from the ‘No Thanks’ list if you have a special system designed to deal with food waste – see the 'Composting Systems' page to find out more)

Now you know what to put in – click here for some top tips on how to get started and get the most from your compost bin. 


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Rebel facing left, dog made of re-use materials, bottles, cardboard, cartons
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