Organic matter undergoes a fermentation process in landfills that generates highly polluting elements, namely methane gas and toxic leachate. Leachate is a highly polluting liquid generated by the infiltration of water into the mass of decaying waste. This substance contains a very high load of harmful substances must be carefully collected and stored. Even small quantities dispersed are able to contaminate the underlying aquifers with disastrous results. Gases, on the other hand, contribute negatively and directly to climate change.

The good news is that it is still possible to reduce these problems related to consumerism and population growth in many ways; one surely is by composting our household organic waste. Home composting is in fact becoming more and more a reality, however it is necessary to pay some attention to it.


Some foods can cause imbalances inside our compost containers, so we can’t just throw everything in as we have to make a minimal selection. There are foods and substances that could attract unwanted pests, cause bad odors, and ultimately alter the composition of the final compost making it unsuitable for fertilizing. To prevent this from happening, here is a list of foods and materials that should never go in the compost bin.

  • Garlic and onion
  • Citrus fruits
  • Meat and fish
  • Vegetable oils and fats
  • Products derived from wheat such as pasta and bread
  • Rice and cereals
  • Pet waste
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Inorganic materials such as glass, plastic, metals

These foods and materials can lead to imbalances in pH levels in our bin, they can favor the development of bacteria, introduce harmful substances as in the case of processed paper. They are guidelines, for one reason or another it is better to keep these foods out of our bin also to avoid unpleasant odors such as the dairy products would cause.

Especially in domestic composting, it’s important that the functionality of the system is optimal to allow a rapid transformation of the substances avoiding unpleasant odors.

If some of these foods end up in small doses inside the compost won’t be a drama. On other materials, distinctions need to be made. If most paper products need to be ruled out because they contain harmful chemicals and inks, a complete different story apply to cardboard. They actually are very useful because helps absorb the excessive moisture inside.

Pieces of cardboard can form the ideal base for our compost to create a base that can somehow drain excessive amounts of liquids. Wood sawdust follows the same concept. Untreated wood sawdust is excellent for absorbing excessive moisture in our bin. Otherwise, if it comes from treated wood, we may introduce harmful chemicals.

Find out more about how to feed earthworms in this article: “How to introduce food waste into compost

Although there is some limitation regarding the foods to add in the compost, still remains a considerable variety of organic waste that we can introduce without any problems. What stops us from contributing to reduce the amount of waste produced, in exchange for a powerful natural fertilizer for our beloved plants?

Find more about worm humus benefits in the article: “Humus: what is it, how to make it

Happy composting to all!

Garden Tower 2 50-Plant Composting Container Garden