Composting Miscellaneous Items from the House

Wednesday, 5 February 2014  | 

An assortment of domestic items can be added to the HOTBIN. Some of these we are sure you would not have thought about composting...until now!

 

Miscellaneous domestic items Will it Decay Cold
Compost
HOTBIN compost Rate of decay in the HOTBIN Comments
Beer and wine Yes Not Advised No Fast Alcohol is biodegradable. The 95% water composition would add too much liquid to the compost.
Brown packaging tape No No No - Take care with cardboard boxes that have been taped up - try to remove all of the brown tape as this will not decompose.
Car oil Yes No No Medium Oil is biodegradable - but once used in a car, the oil contains metails from the engine and so should not be added.
Cat litter - paper Yes Not Advised Yes Medium  
Cellotape (cellulose acetate) No Not Advised Yes Slow A 'plastic' that decomposes!!
Chewing gum Yes Not Advised Yes Slow It is biodegradable and compostable.
Cigarette butts Yes Not Advised Yes Slow  
Coal No Not Advised Not Advised -  
Coal ash No Not Advised Not Advised - Contains potash which is good for some soils, however, if you add too much, the air flow through the HOTBIN is blocked by large amounts of sulphur and iron.
Coloured inks Yes Not Advised Yes Medium Modern inks are biodegradable and contain no heavy metal.
Cotton clothes, jeans Yes Yes Yes Medium You can compost jeans and all cotton fabrics - but try to reuse them!
Dog hair, pet hair Yes Yes Yes Medium  
Fire ash (generally wood ash)  No Not Advised Not Advised - Contains potash which is good for some soils, however, if you add too much, the air flow through the HOTBIN is blocked by large amounts of sulphur and iron.
Human hair Yes Not Advised Yes Medium  
Left over dog and cat food Yes Yes Yes Fast  
PLA starch compostable cutlery Yes Not Advised Yes Medium These are sold as compostable cutlery - ensure they are broken up into pieces before you add them.
Q-Tips (cotton buds) cotton ends only Yes Yes Yes Medium Time consuming to remove a very small amount of cotton!
Soap pieces Yes Yes Yes Medium  
Tumble dryer lint Yes/No Not Advised Not Advised - Depends on the types of clothes you have - synthetic fibres will not compost.
Vacuum cleaner bags Yes/No Not Advised Not Advised Slow Hair and skin etc will compost, however, foil, plastic and carpet fibres will not.
Windowed envelopes (Acetate) Yes Not Advised Not Advised Medium Acetate plastic is biodegradable but can you spot the difference between acetate and shiny non-degradable plastic? Don't try!! - You will drive yourself mad picking bits of plastic out of the compost if you get it wrong.
Wine corks (natural) Yes Not Advised Not Advised Very slow Cork is nature's super bark - it is highly resistant to decay. Even when shredded, it will take years to decompose. Use these for other things, such as making some coasters.