Can you compost these things?

Here are some recent composting questions we received that aren’t long enough for separate articles, so we combined them.

Can avocado skin be composted?

Avocado skin can be added to the compost, but because it is so tough, it will take ages to break down, so adding it is not recommended. Adding avocado skin will slow down the decomposition process, even if it’s broken down into tiny pieces before adding it to the mix. 

Can baked beans go in compost?

In an enclosed bin, baked beans should be fine to add to compost, as they are basically just beans in a tomato-based sauce. However, if the compost bin is not enclosed, the salt and other flavorings may attract unwanted animals or vermin. 

Can banana peels be composted?

Yes, banana peels can be composted and typically take around four weeks to break down. Speed up the process by cutting the peel into small pieces before adding it to the compost mix. 

Can compost be too old?

Composted organic matter does not go bad unless it is stored improperly. However, compost does continue to break down, losing volume and nutrients the longer it is in storage. Try to use your compost within one to three years for best results. Improperly stored compost will go bad. The best way to store compost is in a covered container that is not airtight and lets in some water.

Are nightcrawlers good for compost?

Yes, nightcrawlers and other types of earthworms are good for compost if you see some in your compost pile. They speed up the composting process and help break down organic waste. It is not necessary to add them though, and they’ll probably just crawl away. If the compost is in contact with the ground, they will find their own way in. Vermicomposting is a different concept, explained here.

Are orange peels bad for compost?

No, orange peels and any other citrus peels can be added to compost to bring in phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Break your orange peels down to the smallest possible sizes before adding them into the mix, as large pieces of orange peel will take a long time to break down. The smaller you are able to make your peel pieces, the quicker they will break down and enrich your compost. Orange peels are rich in nitrogen and can help speed up microorganism activity when added to compost. 

Are plastic compost bins any good?

Yes, plastic compost bins are a good choice because they are sturdy, long-lasting, well-insulated, and easy to clean. Unlike wood, plastic composting equipment will last for years without rotting or wearing down. For a small space, plastic compost bins are perfect. Another advantage of plastic compost bins is that they are easy to move around.