Can I Compost Citrus Fruit and Peel?

Wednesday, 7 May 2014  |  HOTBIN Composting

Citrus Can Be Composted in the HOTBIN

You can add all citrus fruits (Oranges, Lemons, Clementines, Satsumas, Limes, etc), their peels and pulp (from juicing) into your HOTBIN.

You will often find that wormery sites recommend you do not add citrus fruit peel (or onions) as they are acidic and worms are quite sensitive to acidity. Bacteria are not nearly as fussy and just gobble the lot.

A couple of things to be careful watch out for:

All fruit skins are designed by nature to protect the seeds inside from bacteria and fungi - ie limit decomposition. Employ a bit of tactics- if an orange goes off and you need to throw it out, chop it in half. It will take far less time for bacteria to eat an orange from the inside than from the outside.

Fruits like oranges are full of water - its why we like them. If you make a lot of juice you will be left with a lot of pulp. In composting terms, pulp is too wet and mushy to compost by itself so always add a handful of shredded paper or corrugated cardboard with pulp to ensure it gets hot. You also need to add lots of bulking agent to aerate the new material and allow the hot composting bacteria to work aerobically. In this instance you really need to mix the pulp with the bulking agent well. If you create pulp every day, you might need to experiment with your mix a little . Contact us if you are unsure - the maths is pretty easy to do once we know how much pulp you have each day.

Adding lots of whole oranges adds a lot of water. If you have a rare occasion where you need to add a whole bag of fruit (eg gone off), then balance your mix by adding plenty of bulking agent and cardboard.