Creating Your Own Compost Pile

If you don’t have enough room for a compost pile that’s okay because you can have one either indoors or outdoors! What you would put into the compost pile would be yard trimmings and food scraps. You would put organic items into the compost pile. Leave out all wrappers, plastic, and metals. You can recycle those.

There are five variables that must be controlled while having a compost pile. This is so you can get the most use out of your compost and not have a smelly messy goop of decomposing trash. There is a list of items that you can put in your compost pile and some items you should avoid. You cannot put everything into your compost pile for various reasons. These reasons being:

  • your pile will become smelly: avoid dairy products and oils for this reason (You can use eggshells,  just not what’s inside).
  • you can transfer disease and bacteria to your plants: avoid diseased/insect ridden plants, carnivorous animal waste, cooked rice, used personal products, and the such.
  • you can attract unwanted pests and bugs: avoid oils because of their smell, raw rice attracts bugs, bread products, and meat products like fish, bones, blood, animal fats, etc..
  • chemicals can seep into your soil: avoid treated wood/wood chips/sawdust, paper that’s been coated or has print on it ex. magazines, newspaper, invitations, etc..
  • items toxic to plants: walnuts because they contain a natural aromatic compound called juglone and charcoal/charcoal ashes
  • breeding ground for unwanted weeds: avoid dandelions, ivy, kudzu, and other stubborn garden plants that would rather grow in your compost pile than degrade in it.


If you want to try an outdoor compost pile in your yard this site is very helpful by explaining what to do and giving you many helpful links to use. They have a recipe for your compost pile, composting techniques, knowing when it’s done, backyard composting bins to use, and other ways you can reduce your organic waste. Check it out! If you want to try an indoor compost pile this site tells you how to make one. Another site tells you how to make and use an indoor worm compost if you’d like to try that out.

Here are some informative good reads about other aspects or questions you may have with composting. If you don’t mind reading a bit HowStuffWorks explains the biology of how a compost pile works and here are some FAQs about composting from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that is definitely worth reading.

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