So, you started a compost pile to reduce your rubbish clearance and keep your food waste and yard waste out of the landfills? Excellent! Clearabee commends you! According to statistics put out by Metro, 5.3 million tonnes of food waste is put in UK landfills every year! However, what you may not know is you can compost many items other than kitchen waste and yard waste like banana peels, coffee grinds, and leaves! If you learn about these items, you can reduce your rubbish clearance even more with your compost pile! Here are eleven weird items you can compost that you may not know about.
1. Vacuum Cleaner Contents (and stuff you sweep off the floor!)
You suck up all that dirt and grim and it’s time to do the dirty deed: empty the vacuum cleaner contents! It’s a chore we all dread. Inevitably it spills out everywhere when you try to put it in your garbage pail. Now you can make this chore more pleasant by walking out to your garden and putting all that dirt and grime directly into your compost pile! Yes, all that household dirt, once composted, will give your lettuces more nutrients next year and make your roses more beautiful.
You can compost any kind of hair including human hair, dog hair, and cat hair. In fact, hair is a great source of nitrogen. If your soils happen to be low in nitrogen, you may even ask a dog groomer for their hair to add to your compost. Hair will also improve sandy soils by helping to retain water and improving the rate at which your composted items decompose. So, clean out your hairbrushes and grow a garden! Keep in mind that hair will compost faster if you spread it out a bit rather than adding it in big wads.
3. Fingernail and Toenail Clippings
Do you clip your dog’s toenails or your own toenails? These can be added to the compost pile, just like hair.
If you happen to raise chickens or have a pet bird, you can throw the feathers they shed into your compost pile and they’ll break down quickly and give you more nitrogen. Just remember that slightly composted feathers can still take flight so be sure to bury them again when you turn your compost!
5. Coffee Filters
Most people know they can compost coffee but did you know you can compost coffee filters too? It works best if you put them in while they’re still wet and you make sure to throw some dirt over the top so they don’t dry out right away.
6. Junk Mail
Finally, a useful purpose for junk mail! Take it out of your rubbish clearance and watch it rot in your compost pile. Paper adds a lot of carbon into your compost which is particularly needed in the spring and summer seasons when you likely have less brown (dried and dead like paper) yard waste. Remember, green stuff adds mainly nitrogen and brown stuff adds mainly carbon so you want a good combination of both.
7. Dryer Lint
Dryer lint is just tiny fragments of clothing fibers so it composts well, especially if you wear mostly natural fiber clothing like cotton and wool. It will add carbon to your compost and a bit of fiber as well.
8. Ashes From Your Fireplace
Fireplace ashes from wood you have burned can be added to your compost pile as a way to neutralize the pH of your compost. If you have put a lot of kitchen scraps in your compost pile, your compost may be be quite acidic. The ashes, being alkaline, will help neutralize this.
9. Cardboard Boxes
Do you order from Amazon a lot? If you do, instead of calling Clearabee for a rubbish clearance, consider composting all those boxes. It works best if you shred the cardboard first or at least rip it into small pieces. Kids absolutely love this “chore” if you turn it into a game! It’s also a great way to relieve the stress of the day!
10. Natural Fiber Rope
Rope made from natural fibers like hemp, jute, or cotton compost well. So, for example, if your cat shreds the sisal off her cat tree, throw it in the compost pile!
11. Wine Bottle Corks
Are you a wine aficionado? Cork is actually the inner bark of the cork oak, scientifically known as the Quercus suber. Thus, it composts as well as any wood in your own garden.
Clearabee wishes you well on your composting efforts and hopes you will share your composting experiences on the Clearabee Twitter feed. The more we talk and tweet about recycling, the more rubbish we’ll keep out of our landfills and the less rubbish clearance we’ll have overall.