Composting Chart The following is a chart listing common composting materials Type of Material Use it? Carbon/ Nitrogen Details Vegetables and veggie peels Yes Nitrogen Great source of nitrogen. Bury in compost pile. Leaves (trees and bushes) Yes Carbon May contain materials bad for plants. Ashes from untreated, unpainted wood Careful Neutral Fine amounts at most. Can make the pile too alkaline and suppress composting. Fruit and fruit peels Yes Nitrogen great source of nitrogen. Bury within compost pile. Bird droppings Careful Nitrogen May contain weed seeds or disease organisms. Cardboard Yes Carbon Shred into small pieces if you use it. Wetting it makes it easier to tear. If you have a lot, consider recycling instead. Cat droppings or cat litter No n/a May contain disease organisms. Avoid. Coffee ground and filters Yes N Great souce of nitrogen for your composter, add the grounds and the filter. Worms love coffee grounds and coffee filters. Compost activator Not required, but ok. Neutral You don’t really need it, but it doesn’t hurt. Cornstalks, corn cobs Yes Carbon Best if shredded and mixed well with nitrogen rich materials. Diseased plants Careful Nitrogen If your pile doesn’t get hot enough, it might not kill the organisms, so be careful. Let it cure several months, and don’t use resulting compost near the type of plant that was diseased. Dog droppings No n/a Avoid. Dryer lint Yes Carbon Compost away! Moistening helps. Eggshells Yes O Break down slowly. Crushing shells helps. Fish scraps No n/a Can attract rodents and cause a stinky pile. Beverages, kitchen rinse water Yes Neutral Good to moisten the middle of the pile. Don’t over-moisten the pile. Hair Yes Nitrogen Scatter so it isn’t in clumps. Lime No n/a Can kill composting action. Avoid. Manure (horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit) Yes Nitrogen Great source of nitrogen. Mix with carbon rich materials so it breaks down better. Meat, fat, grease, oils, bones No n/a Avoid. Milk, cheese, yogurt Careful Neutral Not recommended. Put it deep in the pile to avoid attracting animals. Newspaper Yes Carbon Shred it so it breaks down easier. It is easy to add too much newspaper, so recycle instead if you have a lot. Don’t add slick colored pages. Ashes from coal or charcoal No n/a Shredding leaves helps them break down faster.They decompose slower without shreding. Acidic. Sawdust and wood shavings (untreated wood) Yes Carbon You’ll need a lot of nitrogen materials to make up for the high carbon content. Don’t use too much, and don’t use treated woods. Pine needles and cones Yes Carbon Don’t overload the pile. Also acidic and decomposes slowly. Weeds Careful Nitrogen Dry them out on the pavement, then add later. Sod Careful Nitrogen Make sure the pile is hot enough, so grass doesn’t continue growing. Algae, seaweed and lake moss Yes Nitrogen Good nutrient source.