What can I put in my compost bin?

A lot of people think that garden waste is the only thing that you can put in your compost bin. But there are actually lots more everyday waste items from the home and garden that you can add to enrich your compost. Ideally there should be a 50/50 mix of greens and browns in your compost bin. These are listed below.



  • Tea bags
  • Grass cuttings
  • Vegetable peelings
  • Fruit scraps
  • Flowers and plants
  • Coffee grounds and filter paper


  • Eggshells (crush them first to speed up composting)
  • Egg boxes
  • Cereal boxes
  • Toilet and kitchen roll tubes
  • Newspaper (scrunched up)
  • Garden prunings
  • Old leaves and hedge clippings
  • Straw and hay
  • Tissues, paper towels and napkins
  • Shredded confidential documents


  • Cooked food
  • Diseased plants
  • Animal droppings
  • Nappies
  • Dairy products

Thanks to your compost bin you can compost all of your fruit and veg peelings and garden waste too but have you ever thought about composting all of your food waste too? And when we say all we really do mean ALL! Fish bones, meat and chicken carcasses, bread crusts and yoghurt to name but a few.

As well as ordinary compost bins, we are now offering the choice of two fantastic food waste digesters at heavily discounted prices

If you have a question about resources or recycling in Cumbria call our helpline on  0300 003 1118
or email us at  wastepermits@cumbria.gov.uk
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