What Food Waste Can Be Composted?

It is becoming more and more essential to look at what you’re using and wasting in your home. Food waste can replace the standard chemical fertiliser that you use for your garden and growing produce. Many people compost, which is the process of decomposing organic matter for the purpose of using it as a fertiliser. There are many food items that can decompose quickly and help you protect and grow your garden, such as vegetable peelings, fruit waste and grass cuttings. However, there are more, lesser known ways of fertilising your garden, including using:

food waste in compost bins

Coffee grounds

Used and old coffee grounds are great for plant beds as they are high in nitrogen, which is a basic element which allows for the process of photosynthesis to take place. This is a naturally found alternative to chemical fertilisers, which may damage the plant if too much is added. Coffee is a gentle fertiliser option, as acid-loving plants like roses will respond positively to the coffee grounds. It’s good to keep in mind that coffee grounds don’t react well when it’s too moist in the soil, so it’s best to use this method during drier seasons.

Banana peel

Many people don’t know that banana peels are full of nutrients and are able to keep aphids away. We recommend cutting the banana peels into small pieces so they can breakdown into the soil more easily. You can even store your banana peels in the freezer and defrost them when you need them.


Eggshells are full of calcium which is readily absorbed by plants which use calcium to grow. Crushed up and rinsed eggshells work better, as the sharp edges deter garden pests from getting close to your greenery and allow you plants to grow undisturbed.

Old spices and garlic

If your spices have stopped smelling, then it’s most likely that they’ve gone out of date and need replacing. Instead of chucking them away, try sprinkling some into the soil, as spices such as cinnamon and chilli powder are great at keeping the pests away. You could even try putting some thyme or rosemary into the water you water the plants with as another method to deter pests. Although not everyone’s favourite way of keeping pests at bay, putting a line of salt around your plants will keep slugs and ants away from shrubbery.

What food waste can’t be composted? 

Certain things aren’t suitable for composting and could ruin all the hard work you’ve done to create a fertile environment for your garden, including:

  • Meat products
  • Dairy products
  • Diseased plants
  • Dog poo/cat litter
  • Babies nappies

Remember, any non-organic material is also unsuitable for your composting bin!

R&J Landscapes are an experienced team of professional landscapers, who can help and advise you on anything gardening related. Serving both domestic and commercial clients, we are happy to help with any project, big or small! For more information on our products and services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.