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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Wenzel

How to Start a Composting System Today

Composting is arguably the best thing you can do for your garden, wallet, and environment. Composting makes nutrient-dense food for your plants and prevents valuable waste from entering a landfill. Thankfully starting a compost for your garden is so easy, and you can begin any time of year! An excellent composting system will mean that you'll no longer have to pay for fertilizer for your plants in the garden or your house. If you're ready to launch your composting system today, continue reading!

First, decide what type of compost system that you need. We love our tumbler because it keeps the critters out and because all you need to do is give it a quick spin; compost is made so fast! Don't worry if you're not ready to fork over the cash to buy a fancy tumbling composter. All you really need is a corner of your yard to start tossing kitchen scraps. Once your pile grows a little, grab a shovel and start mixing it up to help your kitchen scraps break down faster. And if you're handy, they aren't too challenging to build.

What NOT to Compost


Pet waste

Human waste

Plants and weeds that have gone to seed

​Feminine hygiene products

Baby wipes

Plastic stickers from your produce

Anything treated with pesticides

Seafood and meat products

Onions and garlic

Shiny paper of any kind


Greasy foods or cooking oils

Coal ash

​Sick or diseased plants

Synthetic fabrics

​Citrus foods

Sawdust from treated wood

Baked goods

Large branches or twigs

What TO Compost


Paper towels and kleenex

Shredded newspapers

Tea leaves from loose tea

Animal fur and human hair

Toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls


Fruit and vegetable scraps and peels

Coffee grounds


Non-glossy paper or any kind, including junk mail

Animal manure from plant eaters only, horses, cows etc.

Organic cotton or wool

Leftover rice and pasta


​Grass and yard scraps

Dryer lint from natural fabrics only


Egg cartons made from paper products

Sawdust from untreated wood

Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, skewers

​Wood chips

Corn husks

Coffee filters

Tips for Composting in the City

Composting in the city might have a few additional challenges, but there are still plenty of ways to put your compost to good use. You might have the yard space, but what if you are in a homeowner's association and they have rules against compost bins? Maybe you don't like to garden, but you want to eliminate some waste from entering landfills. No matter your reason, there is a composting system for you.

  • Offer your scraps to friends and co-workers. It takes quite a few banana peels to build a lot of compost, and someone might really appreciate having the extra compost to feed their garden.

  • Set up an indoor composting bin. Use the finished product to feed house plants, flower boxes, or gifts to your garden friends.

  • Gift your compost to a local community garden.

  • Contact your city and see where the nearest city compost is. Many places have spots for dropping off yard waste like grass clippings, branches, and compost.

As you can see, composting is easy and can be done by anyone and is a huge win for everyone! It helps us greatly by keeping valuable food waste out of landfills; it nourishes and restores our soil and helps feed plants so that we can all eat better food.

Do you have a composting system at home? Do you plan to start one? If so, did I answer all your composting questions? Drop a comment below and let me know if I missed anything. If you enjoyed this post, please show us a little love by clicking the heart! Thanks for reading!

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